The new Maine law intended to protect the personal information of minors, often referred to as the Maine Predatory Marketing Law, is now under legal fire in court. The Portland Press Herald reports:
Four groups are mounting a challenge in federal court to a new Maine law that would make it illegal to collect or receive health and personal information from minors for marketing purposes.
The groups – an association of Maine colleges, the Maine Press Association, a coalition of online trade associations and the owner of the Lexis/Nexis data-gathering company – sued in U.S. District Court in Bangor late Wednesday. The groups are seeking an injunction to keep the law from taking effect as scheduled Sept. 12.
“The law is tremendously overbroad and prohibits conduct people do every day,” said James T. Kilbreth, a lawyer for the Maine Independent Colleges Association, the MPA, Reed Elsevier Inc. and NetChoice.
The law was originally aimed at extending a federal law that bars companies from obtaining personal information online from any child younger than 13 without parental consent. The Maine law was initially focused on protecting the health information of those younger than 18, to keep drug manufacturers from marketing drugs to minors.
But along the way, Maine lawmakers added “personal information” to health information, and that might, the lawsuit argues, keep colleges from communicating with potential students, prevent the media from identifying people younger than 18 in news stories and essentially eliminate any marketing to minors, even if the child requests information.
Read more in the Portland Press Herald
Related: lawsuit (on Scribd)