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Committee Substitute Favorable 4/22/15


Short Title:        Privacy/Protection From Revenge Postings.




Referred to:


April 15, 2015


AN ACT to protect the public from revenge posting online by making it a criminal offense to disclose certain images in which there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1.  Article 26 of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

"§ 14‑190.5A.  Disclosure of private images.

(a)        Definitions. – The following definitions apply in this section:

(1)        Disclose. – Transfer, publish, distribute, or reproduce.

(2)        Image. – A photograph, film, videotape, recording, digital, or other reproduction.

(3)        Intimate parts. – The naked genitals, pubic area, anus, or the nipple of a female over the age of 12.

(4)        Personal relationship. – As defined in G.S. 50B‑1(b).

(5)        Reasonable expectation of privacy. – When a depicted person has consented to the disclosure of an image within the context of a personal relationship and the depicted person reasonably believes that the disclosure will not go beyond that relationship.

(6)        Sexual conduct. – Includes any of the following:

a.         Vaginal, anal, or oral intercourse, whether actual or simulated, normal or perverted.

b.         Masturbation, excretory functions, or lewd exhibition of uncovered genitals.

c.         An act or condition that depicts torture, physical restraint by being fettered or bound, or flagellation of or by a nude person or a person clad in undergarments or in revealing or bizarre costume.

(b)        A person is guilty of a Class H felony if, with the intent to coerce, harass, intimidate, demean, humiliate, or cause financial loss to the depicted person, or with the intent to cause others to coerce, harass, intimidate, demean, humiliate, or cause financial loss to the depicted person, the person knowingly discloses an image of another person who is identifiable from the image itself or information offered in connection with the image, and whose intimate parts are exposed or who is engaged in sexual conduct, when the person knows or should have known that the depicted person has not consented to such disclosure and under circumstances such that the person knew or should have known that the depicted person had a reasonable expectation of privacy. In addition, the court may order the destruction of any image made in violation of this section.

(c)        Exceptions. – This section does not apply to any of the following:

(1)        Images involving voluntary exposure in public or commercial settings.

(2)        Disclosures made in the public interest, including, but not limited to, the reporting of unlawful conduct or the lawful and common practices of law enforcement, criminal reporting, legal proceedings, medical treatment, or scientific or educational activities.

(3)        Providers of an interactive computer service, as defined in 47 U.S.C. § 230(f), for images provided by another person.

(d)        In addition to any other remedies at law or in equity, including an order by the court to destroy any image disclosed in violation of this section, any person whose image is disclosed, or used, as described in subsection (b) of this section, has a civil cause of action against any person who discloses or uses the image and is entitled to recover from the other person any of the following:

(1)        Actual damages, but not less than liquidated damages, to be computed at the rate of one thousand dollars ($1,000) per day for each day of the violation or in the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000), whichever is higher.

(2)        Punitive damages.

(3)        A reasonable attorneys' fee and other litigation costs reasonably incurred.

The civil cause of action may be brought no more than four years after the last disclosure as described in this section."

SECTION 2.  This act becomes effective December 1, 2015, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date and to actions initiated on or after that date.