C.A. GOLDBERG, PLLC JOINS SENATOR GOUNARDES TO INTRODUCE NEW YORK CHILD DATA PRIVACY AND PROTECTION ACT
- C.A. Goldberg, PLLC worked with Senator Andrew Gounardes to develop The New York Child Data Privacy and Protection Act
- The bill would require tech companies commit to privacy and safety for kids, creating new obligations that online services need to follow if they are targeting children to use their product.
Carrie Goldberg of C.A. Goldberg, PLLC victims’ rights law firm collaborated with NY Senator Andrew Gounardes to draft the NY Child Data Privacy and Protection Act, a bill that requires tech companies commit to privacy and safety for kids and design their products age-appropriately.
The bill includes a ban on data collection and digital advertising to children, a ban on using data acquired from educational products to build profiles on users, a portal for parents and guardians to report emergencies, and mandatory reporting of the amount of time on average children use their product.
The bill also requires that online products targeted toward children institute design features to better protect children from threats. These design features include privacy-by-default settings, notification that as children they cannot be bound by any user agreement, and a real-time method for parents to notify the platform of an emergency.
Platforms targeting children will be required to complete assessments disclosing the incidents of harms to children on their platform and the amount of time, on average, that minors spend on the product and whether any features are designed to extend or increase that amount of time.
Compliance with the bill is to be enforced by the New York Attorney General or through a private right of action by individuals harmed by a platform’s noncompliance.
Why does New York need a Child Data Privacy and Protection Act?
In a world increasingly governed by Big Tech, it is imperative that lawmakers look to guard against some of the worst abuses of the information technology industry for its youngest and most impressionable consumers. The Child Data Privacy and Protection Act pressures Internet entities to create safer digital spaces for children that do not recklessly mine and sell their data while exposing them to potentially traumatizing content and individuals. It represents a commonsense regulatory approach which, when passed, will ensure a safer and more ethical digital world digital world for the most vulnerable among us.
What does the NY Child Data Privacy and Protection Act do:
The NY Child Data Privacy and Protection Act creates new obligations that online services need to follow if children may access their product, including:
- Ban on data collection and digital advertising to children
- Ban on using data acquired from educational products to build profiles on users
- Must design products age appropriately with opt-outs
- Must provide portal to parents and guardians to report emergencies
- Must prioritize investigations where children are the victims
- Privacy policies must obtain consent of child AND parents
- Companies must complete a data assessment impact statement that reports on the amount of time on average children use their product
- Clearly state terms of service for products aimed at children and that the obligations are not binding on children
This would be enforced by the Attorney General and includes a civil cause of action. The NYCDPPA would apply to any online product that knows or should know that its product is accessible to and used by children. This includes apps, educational products, social media platforms, online messaging, online marketplaces, content streaming, and online gaming.
About C.A. Goldberg, PLLC
C.A. Goldberg, PLLC is a victims’ rights law firm based in Brooklyn and working nationally to represent families of children who’ve been catastrophically injured because of online harms.
C.A. Goldberg, PLLC represents victims of child sexual exploitation material, online abuse, and death, stemming from online harms and dangerous tech products. We have seen that tech companies cannot be relied upon to consider child users (a source of huge profit) of their own volition. The massive harms incurred by minors are collateral damage in tech corporation’s insatiable pursuit of exponentially increasing profit margins. Lawmakers must step in to protect children and mitigate these risks where possible.
What the people behind the bill say:
Carrie Goldberg, founder of C.A. Goldberg, PLLC victims’ rights law firm said:
“If you’re going to be in the business of targeting tech products at minors then there’s bare minimum safety requirements you’re going to have to meet. It’s no different than if you’re making toys or cribs or car seats. If you’re in the business of providing consumer products to children, then you can’t be designing products that are endangering their lives.
For too long, tech companies have run amuck, exploiting the idea that they’re outside regulation from law or courts. As a consequence, a powerful few tech companies have designed their products to hook young people so they can advertise at them and mine their data and behaviors. Last September when the Facebook papers leaked, we learned these companies knew the products were harming kids, causing them depression, suicidal ideation, making them obsess over perfection and social comparison and causing eating disorders and even deaths. We in New York cannot let this industry endanger an entire generation of young people. This is a positive opportunity for tech platforms targeting children to put their design and engineering skills to use and innovate according to the best interests of their youngest users.”
Senator Andrew Gounardes said:
“Starting before the pandemic but certainly exacerbated by it, tween and teens are growing more and more reliant on their digital devices. As screen time grows, so do the risks that an unchecked digital landscape provides. The Child Data Privacy and Protection Act will force internet companies to create safer digital spaces for children that do not recklessly mine and sell their data while exposing them to potentially traumatizing content and individuals. This bill will not only keep our kids safe, but also hold reckless actors accountable for the harm they supply.”
American teenagers spend 7 hours and 22 minutes on average per day browsing social media. 53% of children will own a smartphone by the time they’re 11 years of age.*
According to the 2021 U.S. Surgeon General Advisory on Protecting Youth Mental Health, digital public spaces are frequently designed to maximize user engagement as opposed to safeguarding user health, leading to negative impacts of digital technologies and social media on the mental health and well-being of adolescents.
Young children run a higher risk of coming into contact with strangers online, inadvertently sharing personal information online, inadvertently making in-app purchases or signing contracts, terms, or conditions online, becoming subject to, witnessing, or participating in potentially harmful conduct online, or purchasing drugs and other dangerous products advertised online or sold through online platforms.
Participate in the conversation on social media: #kidsovertech
www.cagoldberglaw.com – C.A. Goldberg, PLLC victims’ rights law firm
Media contact: Caroline@cagoldberglaw.com
*Common Sense Census.