Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Maine Law Bans Collection of Personal Information, “Predatory Marketing” to Minors

This posting was written by Thomas A. Long, Editor of CCH Privacy Law in Marketing.

A new Maine statute prohibits the collection of health-related or other personal information for marketing purposes from a minor without parental consent and “predatory marketing” to minors.

Under the “predatory marketing” provisions of the new law, a person may not use any health-related information or personal information regarding a minor for the purpose of marketing a product or service to that minor or promoting any course of action for the minor relating to a product.

Violations of the statute are unfair trade practices under the Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act and are also subject to civil penalties of up to $20,000 per violation.

A person about whom information is unlawfully collected or who is the object of predatory marketing in violation of this statute may bring an action for injunctive relief and actual damages or up to $250 in statutory damages for each violation, whichever is greater. The statute provides for an award of attorneys fees and costs upon the finding of a violation.

“An Act to Prevent Predatory Marketing Practices Against Minors” (Public Law 230) was signed by the Governor on June 2, 2009, and will take effect on September 12, 2009.

Text of the law appears here on the Maine State Legislature’s website. It will be reported at CCH Privacy Law in Marketing ¶31,902.

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