Digital advertising aimed at kids as well as the data collection of younger users would be banned under legislation proposed this week by state Sen. Andrew Gounardes. 

The measure is meant to provide stronger protections for kids online and give parents more control over their children's digital lives. 

The bill is being proposed after years of studies finding social media exposure can be harmful to children and teenagers, leading to mental health problems like depression. At the same time, the measure is meant to safeguard kids against drug sales and being targeted by abusers.

“In a world continually dominated by Big Tech, it is essential that we protect children from the darkest corners of the internet, and from the invasive predatory data collection and advertisement that too many tech companies engage in,” Gounardes said. "The Child Data Privacy and Protection Act will protect our children from digital dangers such as adults targeting illegal drug sales to minors, revenge porn attacks, and more.” 

The bill proposes more access for parents to their kids' online accounts and requires tech companies to provide access to the user accounts of deceased children. 

In addition to bans on digital advertising and data collection aimed at younger users, kids' accounts would be required to be on a default setting for the highest possible privacy. 

The New York attorney general's office would have enforcement over the law's implementation. 

Advocates for protecting minors online compared the issue to prior efforts to strengthen laws for consumer products aimed at kids. 

“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,” said Carrie Goldberg, the founder of C.A. Goldberg PLLC, a victims’ rights law firm. “For too long, tech companies have run amuck, exploiting the idea that they’re outside regulation from law or courts. As a consequence, a few powerful tech companies have designed their products to hook young people so they can advertise to them and mine their data and behaviors."