New York Governor signs two new bills into law protecting kids from social media

The new laws prevent social media companies from sharing addictive feeds with and collecting data from minors without parental consent.


New York has passed two new laws restricting how social media companies interact with and collect data from users under the age of 18.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed two bills into law on Thursday including the Stop Addictive Feeds Exploitation (SAFE) for Kids Act and the New York Child Data Protection Act.

SAFE requires social media companies like Facebook and X to restrict addictive feeds to minors on its platforms. These include feeds that are “algorithmically driven” to prevent “unhealthy levels of engagement,” according to a press release.

The New York Child Data Protection Act also prevents online sites and devices from collecting, sharing or selling the personal data of anyone under the age of 18.

Both laws require companies to obtain consent from parents before allowing kids to access feeds driven by algorithms or collecting data from them. The new laws also require social media companies to create age verification and parental consent controls for its platforms based on guidelines set by New York’s Attorney General.

New York passed two new laws restricting how social media companies interact with and collect data from users under the age of 18. Governor Hochul said in a released statement that these new policies will “provide a safer digital environment, give parents more peace of mind and create a brighter future for young people across New York.”

Other parts of the country have passed laws restricting or limiting children’s access to phones and online platforms. The California State Senate approved a bill similar to New York’s SAFE Act that would also prevent social media apps from sending notifications to minors during school hours and from midnight to 6 a.m. throughout the year. The Los Angeles Unified School District instituted a ban that restricts students’ phone usage during school hours. California Governor Gavin Newson responded to the decision by promising to work with lawmakers on a similar statewide law.

These new policies and laws aren’t just about keeping kids off of their phone while they’re in school. They are designed to address mental health issues caused by social media platforms. The New York Times published an op-ed on Monday from US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy calling social media an “important contributor” to the detriment of mental health in teenagers and called for social media companies to post a warning label for adolescents on its platforms and apps.