Maine Bans Collecting Data of Minors for Marketing Purposes Without Parental Consent
On June 2, Maine Governor John Baldacci signed into law an Act making it an illegal and unfair trade practice for a person or company “to knowingly collect or receive health-related information or personal information for marketing purposes from a minor without first obtaining verifiable parental consent of that minor’s parent or legal guardian.” Maine PUBLIC Law, Chapter 230 LD 1183, Item 1. Under the law, persons and entities cannot collect a minor’s (i) first name, or first initial, and last name, (ii) home or other address, (iii) social security number, (iv) driver’s license number or state identification number, and/or (v) any additional related personally identifiable information. Such personal information, however, may be obtained with “verifiable parental consent,” which is defined as “any reasonable effort” to ensure that a parent or guardian authorizes and receives notice of the collection, use and/or disclosure of the minor’s personal information. The law carries civil penalties of between $10,000 and $20,000 for an initial violation and at least $20,000 for subsequent violations.