Governor of Maine signs nation’s strictest internet privacy protection bill

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Gov Janet Mills (D-ME) signed the nation’s toughest internet privacy protection bill into law. The new law requires customers to proactively allow internet service providers to use their personal data. It prevents the use, sale or distribution of a customer’s personal information by providers without the express consent of the customer. Other states have internet privacy laws, but they require customers to opt-out of having their personal data used by internet service providers. "With this common-sense law, Maine people can access the internet with the knowledge and comfort that their personal information cannot be bought or sold by their ISPs without their express approval," said Gov Mills. The bill is based on the broadband privacy rules adopted by the Tom Wheeler FCC in 2016 and repealed by Congress in 2017. 

Benton Senior Fellow and former counsel to Chairman Wheeler Gigi Sohn said: "The cable and broadband industry sent a parade of high-powered and highly-paid Washington, DC-based lawyers to Augusta in an effort to defeat this bill, using the same arguments they used to kill the FCC’s sensible and popular 2016 broadband privacy rules. But Maine legislators believed that protecting their constituents’ privacy was paramount and moved expeditiously to do so. When the federal government stands down, the states must step up, and that is what Maine has done here. If the passage of this bill lights a fire under Congress to pass long overdue comprehensive data privacy legislation, there will be even more reason to celebrate today’s accomplishment."

Gov. Mills signs nation’s strictest internet privacy protection bill Gigi Sohn Statement on Passage of Maine Broadband Privacy Bill Maine governor signs bill banning internet providers from selling consumer data without consent (The Hill)