June 7, 2024
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Celebrates Legislative Passage of Nation-Leading Bills to Combat Addictive Social Media Feeds and Protect Kids Online

Governor Hochul Celebrates Legislative Passage of Nation-Leading Bills to Combat Addictive Social Media Feeds and Protect Kids Online

SAFE For Kids Act Will Restrict Access to Addictive Algorithmic Feeds; Child Data Protection Act Will Keep Personal Data Safe

Governor Hochul Partnered With Students, Parents, Elected Leaders To Push for Transformative Legislation

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Governor Kathy Hochul today celebrated the legislative passage of two nation-leading bills to protect kids online. The Stop Addictive Feeds Exploitation (SAFE) for Kids Act will restrict a child’s access to addictive feeds on social media, and the New York Child Data Protection Act will keep children’s personal data safe.

“New York is leading the nation to protect our kids from addictive social media feeds and shield their personal data from predatory companies,” Governor Hochul said. “Together, we’ve taken a historic step forward in our efforts to address the youth mental health crisis and create a safer digital environment for young people. I am grateful to Attorney General James, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Heastie, and bill sponsors Senator Gounardes and Assemblymember Rozic for their vital partnership in advancing this transformative legislation.”

The SAFE for Kids Act will require social media companies to restrict addictive feeds on their platforms for users under 18. Unless parental consent is granted, users under 18 will not receive addictive feeds. Users may still search for specific topics of interest. It will also prohibit social media platforms from sending notifications regarding addictive feeds to minors from 12:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. without parental consent. The legislation will authorize the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) to bring an action to enjoin violations of the new law as well as seek civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation, among other remedies. And finally, it calls for the establishment of acceptable age verification and parent consent methods, to be determined by the OAG as part of a rulemaking process once the legislation is enacted.

The New York Child Data Protection Act will prohibit online sites from collecting, using, sharing or selling personal data of anyone under the age of 18, unless they receive informed consent or unless doing so is strictly necessary for the purpose of the website. It also authorizes the OAG to enforce the law and enjoin and seek damages or civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James said, “Our children are enduring a mental health crisis, and social media is fueling the fire and profiting from the epidemic. The legislation my team worked on and supported along with bill sponsors Senator Gounardes and Assemblymember Rozic will help address the addictive features that have made social media so insidious and anxiety-producing. I applaud Governor Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Heastie, and the legislative majorities for supporting this legislation and for agreeing that protecting children’s mental health must be a top priority. New York state is once again leading the nation, and I hope other states will follow suit and pass legislation to protect children and put their mental health above big tech companies’ profits.”

State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “As we navigate the threats social media poses to our youth in today’s ever-evolving technological landscape, I’m proud that, under my leadership, the Senate Majority created the Senate's Internet and Technology Committee to focus on these issues. I thank Governor Hochul, Attorney General James and Bill Sponsor Senator Gounardes for their diligent work on this legislation and collaborating with stakeholders and colleagues to reach an agreement that best supports our youth in achieving healthier social media usage. Together, we will continue to take all necessary actions to protect the mental well-being of our children.”

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, “As technology evolves, so must the ways we protect our kids from harm – both on and offline. These bills will give parents the tools to help protect kids from predatory practices that impact their mental health by eliminating the addictive personalized feeds and will make online privacy the default for New York’s children, preventing companies from collecting and using their data. Thank you to our Assembly sponsor Nily Rozic and to Governor Kathy Hochul, Attorney General Letitia James and our partners in the Senate for all the work they’ve done on this to make online spaces safer for kids.”

State Senator Andrew Gounardes said, “New York is sending a clear message to Big Tech: your profits are not more important than our kids’ privacy and wellbeing. As the father of two young kids, this win is personal, and I am particularly grateful to the young people, parents, educators, and organizations from across the state who fought back against the industry's lobbying and lies, and demanded a safer digital world. Today would not have been possible without the extraordinary collaboration of Governor Hochul, Attorney General James, Assemblymember Rozic and legislative leadership. This isn’t just a win for New York’s children – our new laws pave the way for the rest of the country to follow suit. We beat Big Tech, and you can too.”

Assemblymember Nily Rozic said, “Over two decades after child online privacy law was last updated, the passage of these bills signal that New York is taking the lead in putting New Yorkers' safety and privacy at the forefront. We are taking decisive action to protect our kids from the harmful influence of addictive algorithms and unchecked data collection by passing the SAFE for Kids Act and the NY Child Data Protection Act. I thank Governor Hochul, Attorney General James, and Senator Gounardes for their unwavering collaborative efforts in order to protect young people in the digital age.”

Contact the Governor's Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474-8418
New York City: (212) 681-4640


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