States are taking online consumer protection into their own hands given a perceived lack of sufficient protection at the federal level. Maine now has jumped in.
Indeed, Janet Mills, the Governor of Maine, just signed into law arguably one of the strongest privacy bills in the country. This law, called the Act to Protect the Privacy of Online Consumer Information and which goes into effect on July 1, prohibits internet service providers from using, selling, or distributing data from consumers without obtaining their consent. And, according to The Hill, this new state law bars internet service providers from refusing to serve consumers, penalizing consumers or offering them discounts to seek to gain their permission to sell their data.
Consumer Affairs and Privacy
This bold step by Maine follows in the footsteps of California, a state which passed a complicated online privacy law last year. That law has been both applauded by privacy activists and criticized in certain respects by the tech industry.
At first blush, the new Maine law may be even more robust than the California law. The Maine law is opt-in in nature, requiring explicit consent from consumers before internet service providers can sell their data. The California law is opt-out in effect, making consumers affirmatively request that their data not be sold. Continue reading Another State Passes Law to Protect Consumer Data