ANA Urges Repeal of Maine Children's Privacy Law
ANA has urged the Maine Legislature to repeal the "Act to Prevent Predatory Marketing Practices Against Minors." That law, passed earlier this year, severely restricts the collection, transfer and use of "personal information" or "health-related information" from minors. Our letter argues that the legislation violates the First Amendment and the dormant commerce clause and is preempted by the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
The Joint Standing Committee on the Judiciary in the Maine Legislature will be meeting on October 15th and 16th to consider the constitutional issues raised by the law. All of the details about the Judiciary Committee review are available at http://www.maine.gov/legis/opla/judcommreview.htm
The Maine Attorney General has publicly committed not to enforce the law, which took effect on September 12th. ANA provided financial support for a lawsuit in federal court which challenged the law on First Amendment and dormant commerce clause grounds. Although the federal court stopped short of granting a preliminary injunction, it sent a clear message that any private cause of action under the new law could suffer from "constitutional infirmities."
We are very hopeful that the hearing will give the business community an opportunity to work with the Attorney General, the bill's sponsor and others in the Maine Legislature to resolve the serious defects with the legislation. We will provide you with more information about possible legislative options as they are developed.