Update on Maine Children's Privacy Law

We notified you last month about a new Maine law that severely restricts the collection and use of "personal information" or "health-related information" from minors, presumably anyone under age 18.  There are a number of serious constitutional problems with this new law, including First Amendment and dormant commerce clause concerns.  In addition, there is a strong argument that the new law, which restricts all communications with minors, whether online or offline, is preempted by the federal Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

ANA has been working with a coalition of marketers and other industry groups to determine how best to respond to this new legislation.  There were constructive meetings this week with the sponsor of the bill and the state Attorney General to discuss the serious problems with the law, which takes effect next month.  Since the law contains a "bounty hunter" provision with a private right of action, it appears that a lawsuit to enjoin the effective date may be necessary. 

If your company has significant operations in Maine, it would be very helpful if you could provide us specific examples of how this new law will block your ability to communicate with children in the state.

We will keep you informed about further developments.  If you have any comments or questions about the Maine law, please contact Dan Jaffe (djaffe@ana.net) or Keith Scarborough (kscarborough@ana.net) in ANA's Washington, DC office at 202-296-1883.