Assemblywoman Buttenschon: New York State Assembly Passes Landmark Legislation to Protect Our Children on Social Media

Today, Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon (D-C Marcy) announced that two pieces of legislation she cosponsors to protect our children’s data on social media (A8149a) and prevent tech platforms from targeting children with addictive algorithms (A8148a) have passed the New York State Assembly.

“As a lifelong educator and a grandparent, nothing is more important than protecting our children. Social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and X use the data of our children and teenagers to create a profile of them so they can be targeted with addictive algorithms. The use of our children’s data to create the algorithms causes them to be addicted to social media, which can lead to significantly higher rates of mental illness, self-harm, and suicide,” explained Assemblywoman Buttenschon. “I am proud to cosponsor these pieces of legislation that will protect our children from being exploited by social media companies for profit at the expense of their mental health.”

The New York Child Data Protection Act will prevent social media companies from selling the data of New Yorkers under 18 and using that data for reasons that are not strictly necessary for the platform. It would also require parents of children under thirteen to specify precisely how they want their child's data to be used.

The Stop Addictive Feeds Exploitation (SAFE) for Kids Act would prohibit social media platforms from generating addictive algorithms based on what posts they like and how long they spend viewing a post. The legislation also prevents platforms from sending notifications relating to their algorithms between 12 AM and 6 AM without parental consent.

"I am proud to have cosponsored legislation that would make New York State a leader in protecting our children online. I want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and Attorney General James for supporting its enforcement,” said Buttenschon. “I call on Governor Hochul to sign these pieces of critical legislation into law.” 

To watch Assemblywoman Buttenschon’s remarks on the legislation, click here.