Rajkumar bill aims to fortify cybersecurity and data protection for New Yorkers

Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar has introduced new legislation aimed at safeguarding New York cyber security.
Photo courtesy of Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

Efforts by the federal government to safeguard personal digital data from outside sources through legal measures have reached the state level. 

Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar recently introduced legislation designed to safeguard the digital data of New Yorkers and prevent future cyberattacks.

This legislative move comes nearly a month after President Joe Biden signed a law that will ban TikTok nationwide if the company fails to sell. 

If signed into law, Rajkumar’s bill (A. 9312) would prohibit the State and local municipalities, including New York City, from purchasing technology from companies abroad that the federal government considers a threat to national security. 

Rajkumar said she is committed to the safety of New Yorkers, which includes cybersecurity. She also added that the public’s awareness of how companies use sensitive data does not come to the forefront of concerns, which will have to change moving forward. 

“From our power plants to our public transit to our servers packed with sensitive information, our procurement decisions determine whether or not there is an open door for hackers,” Rajkumar said in a release.

The Queens legislator also said the bill supports the fabrication of semiconductors in the state, which are found in nearly every electronic device as a vital part of its construction. 

Towards the end of last year, Governor Kathy Hochul announced a $10 Billion partnership with leaders from the semiconductor industry, such as IBM and Micron, to establish a semiconductor research and development center in New York.

The protective measures from the proposed legislation mirror the hesitation from the U.S. Congress to allow TikTok, a Chinese-owned social media company, to continue operating in the country. 

TikTok, along with its parent company ByteDance, has filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. law forcing the company to sell. The concerns over how companies are collecting and using sensitive data remain an ongoing debate.