February 24, 2024

One of the strictest internet privacy laws in the United States has withstood a legal challenge, as a group of telecommunication providers has dropped its bid to overturn the Maine standard.

Maine created one of the toughest rules in the nation for internet service providers in 2020 when it began enforcing an opt-in web privacy standard. The law stops the service providers from using, disclosing, selling or providing access to customers’ personal information without permission.

Industry associations swiftly sued with a claim that the new law violated their First Amendment rights. A federal judge rejected that challenge, but legal wrangling continued.

The groups, which include the country’s biggest telecommunications providers, filed to dismiss the lawsuit on Sept. 2, said Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey. Frey said the state’s privacy law held up despite the efforts of an army of industry lawyers organized against us, and now other states can follow Maine’s lead.

Maine’s Legislature wisely sought to protect Maine residents by restricting the disclosure and use of their most private and personal information,” Frey said.

The Maine Legislature passed the bill, proposed by former Democratic state Sen. Shenna Bellows, who is now Maine’s secretary of state, in 2019. Internet service providers then sued in February 2020, and attorneys for Maine have been in court defending the law since. The proposal stemmed from a Maine effort to bring back rules implemented during President Barack Obama’s tenure that were repealed by Congress during President Donald Trump’s term.

Industry plaintiffs agreed to reimburse Maine for more than $55,000 in costs incurred defending the law, Frey said.

Supporters of Maine’s law includes the ACLU of Maine, which filed court papers in the case in favor of keeping the law on the books. The ACLU said in court papers that the law was narrowly drawn to directly advance Maine’s substantial interests in protecting consumers’ privacy, freedom of expression, and security.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills has also defended the law as common sense.

Maine is also the home of another privacy law that regulates the use of facial recognition technology. That law, which came on the books last year, has also been cited as the strictest of its kind in the US.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Readers,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practice the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Related Posts