June 6 – Governor Janet Mills today signed LD 946 “An Act To Protect the Privacy of Online Customer Information,” sponsored by Senator Shenna Bellows of Manchester. The internet privacy legislation, which garnered bipartisan support and unanimous approval in the Maine Senate, prevents the use, sale, or distribution of a customer’s personal information by internet providers without the express consent of the customer.
“Maine people value their privacy, online and off,” said Governor Mills. “The internet is a powerful tool, and as it becomes increasingly intertwined with our lives, it is appropriate to take steps to protect the personal information and privacy of Maine people. With this common-sense law, Maine people can access the internet with the knowledge and comfort that their personal information cannot be bought or sold by their ISPs without their express approval.”
“Internet privacy has become such a critical issue across our country and our state. Mainers need to be able to trust that the private data they send online won’t be sold or shared without their knowledge,” said Sen. Shenna Bellows, D-Manchester. “This law makes Maine first and best in the nation in protecting consumer privacy online.”
LD 946 “An Act To Protect the Privacy of Online Customer Information” prohibits a provider of broadband Internet access service from using, disclosing, selling or permitting access to customer personal information unless the customer expressly consents to that use, disclosure, sale or access. The legislation also prohibits a provider from refusing to serve a customer, charging a customer a penalty or offering a customer a discount if the customer does or does not consent to the use, disclosure, sale or access of their personal information.
To allow the ISPs to adjust their practices and accommodate the new law’s privacy provisions, the law takes effect on July 1, 2020.
Source: Governor Mills
But as the Press Herald reported this week:
Maine internet service providers will face the strictest consumer privacy protections in the nation under a bill signed Thursday by Gov. Janet Mills, but the new law will almost certainly be challenged in court.
Several technology and communication trade groups warned in testimony before the Legislature that the measure may be in conflict with federal law and would likely be the subject of legal action.
Read more on the Press Herald.