Public Act 101-0556
Public Act 0556 101ST GENERAL ASSEMBLY
|Public Act 101-0556|
|SB1507 Enrolled||LRB101 09526 LNS 54624 b|
AN ACT concerning civil law.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
This Act may be cited as the
Remedies for Nonconsensual Dissemination of Private Sexual
As used in this Act:
(1) "Child" means an unemancipated individual who is less
than 18 years of age.
(2) "Consent" means affirmative, conscious, and voluntary
authorization by an individual with legal capacity to give
(3) "Depicted individual" means an individual whose body is
shown, in whole or in part, in a private sexual image.
(4) "Dissemination" or "disseminate" means publication or
distribution to another person with intent to disclose.
(5) "Harm" means physical harm, economic harm, or emotional
distress whether or not accompanied by physical or economic
(6) "Identifiable" means recognizable by a person other
than the depicted individual:
(A) from a private sexual image itself; or
(B) from a private sexual image and identifying
characteristic displayed in connection with the image.
(7) "Identifying characteristic" means information that
may be used to identify a depicted individual.
(8) "Individual" means a human being.
(9) "Parent" means an individual recognized as a parent
under laws of this State.
(10) "Private" means:
(A) created or obtained under circumstances in which a
depicted individual had a reasonable expectation of
(B) made accessible through theft, bribery, extortion,
fraud, voyeurism, or exceeding authorized access to an
account, message, file, device, resource, or property.
(11) "Person" means an individual, business or nonprofit
entity, public corporation, government or governmental
subdivision, agency, or other legal entity.
(12) "Sexual conduct" includes:
(B) genital sex, anal sex, oral sex, or sexual
(C) sexual penetration of or with an object.
(13) "Sexual activity" means any:
(A) knowing touching or fondling by the depicted
individual or another person, either directly or through
clothing, of the sex organs, anus, or breast of the
depicted individual or another person for the purpose of
sexual gratification or arousal;
(B) transfer or transmission of semen upon any part of
the clothed or unclothed body of the depicted individual,
for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal of the
depicted individual or another person;
(C) act of urination within a sexual context;
(D) bondage, fetish, sadism, or masochism;
(E) sadomasochistic abuse in any sexual context; or
(F) animal-related sexual activity.
(14) "Sexual image" means a photograph, film, videotape,
digital recording, or other similar medium that shows:
(A) the fully unclothed, partially unclothed, or
transparently clothed genitals, pubic area, anus, or
female post-pubescent nipple, partially or fully exposed,
of a depicted individual; or
(B) a depicted individual engaging in or being
subjected to sexual conduct or activity.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in Section 15, if a
depicted individual is identifiable to a reasonable person and
suffers harm from the intentional dissemination or threatened
dissemination by a person over the age of 18 of a private
sexual image without the depicted individual's consent, the
depicted individual has a cause of action against the person if
the person knew:
(1) the depicted individual did not consent to the
(2) the image was a private sexual image; and
(3) the depicted individual was identifiable.
(b) The following conduct by a depicted individual does not
establish by itself that the individual consented to the
nonconsensual dissemination of a private sexual image that is
the subject of an action under this Act or that the individual
lacked a reasonable expectation of privacy:
(1) consent to creation of the image; or
(2) previous consensual disclosure of the image.
(c) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to impose
liability on an interactive computer service, as defined in 47
U.S.C. 230(f)(2), for content provided by another person.
Exceptions to liability.
(a) A person is not liable under this Act if the person
proves that the dissemination of or a threat to disseminate a
private sexual image was:
(1) made in good faith:
(A) by law enforcement;
(B) in a legal proceeding; or
(C) for medical education or treatment;
(2) made in good faith in the reporting or
(A) unlawful conduct; or
(B) unsolicited and unwelcome conduct; or
(3) related to a matter of public concern.
(b) Subject to subsection (c), a defendant who is a parent,
legal guardian, or individual with legal custody of a child is
not liable under this Act for a dissemination or threatened
dissemination of an intimate private sexual image of the child.
(c) If a defendant asserts an exception to liability under
subsection (b), the exception does not apply if the plaintiff
proves the disclosure was:
(1) prohibited by a law other than this Act; or
(2) made for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual
gratification, humiliation, degradation, or monetary or
(d) The dissemination of or a threat to disseminate a
private sexual image is not a matter of public concern solely
because the depicted individual is a public figure.
Privacy of parties.
(a) In an action under this Act:
(1) a plaintiff may proceed by using a pseudonym in
place of the true name of the plaintiff under Section 2-401
of the Code of Civil Procedure; and
(2) the court may exclude or redact from all pleadings
and documents filed in the action other identifying
characteristics of the plaintiff.
(b) A plaintiff to whom paragraph (2) of subsection (a)
applies shall file with the court and serve on the defendant a
confidential information form that includes the excluded or
redacted plaintiff's name and other identifying
(c) The court may make further orders as necessary to
protect the identity and privacy of a plaintiff.
(d) If a plaintiff is granted privacy protections under
this Section, a defendant may file a motion with the court to
receive the same privacy protections. The court may deny or
grant the motion at its discretion.
(a) In an action under this Act, a prevailing plaintiff may
(1) the greater of:
(A) economic and noneconomic damages proximately
caused by the defendant's dissemination or threatened
dissemination, including damages for emotional
distress whether or not accompanied by other damages;
(B) statutory damages, not to exceed $10,000,
against each defendant found liable under this Act for
all disseminations and threatened disseminations by
the defendant of which the plaintiff knew or reasonably
should have known when filing the action or that became
known during the pendency of the action. In determining
the amount of statutory damages under this subsection,
consideration shall be given to the age of the parties
at the time of the disseminations or threatened
disseminations, the number of disseminations or
threatened disseminations made by the defendant, the
breadth of distribution of the image by the defendant,
and other exacerbating or mitigating factors;
(2) an amount equal to any monetary gain made by the
defendant from dissemination of the private sexual image;
(3) punitive damages.
(b) In an action under this Act, the court may award a
(1) reasonable attorney's fees and costs; and
(2) additional relief, including injunctive relief.
(c) This Act does not affect a right or remedy available
under any other law of this State.
Statute of limitations.
(a) An action under subsection (b) of Section 10 for:
(1) a nonconsensual dissemination may not be brought
later than 2 years from the date the dissemination was
discovered or should have been discovered with the exercise
of reasonable diligence; and
(2) a threat to disseminate may not be brought later
than 2 years from the date of the threat to disseminate.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c), this
Section is subject to the tolling statutes of this State.
(c) In an action under subsection (a) of Section 10 by a
depicted individual who was a minor on the date of the
dissemination or threat to disseminate, the time specified in
subsection (a) of this Section does not begin to run until the
depicted individual attains the age of majority.
If any provision of this Act or
its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid,
the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications
of this Act that can be given effect without the invalid
provision or application, and to this end, the provisions of
this Act are severable.
Effective Date: 1/1/2020