So Are You Prepped for Possible State Gate 09?

Tips to Deal With Maine’s New Law Regarding Minors’ Personal Information

As we recently reported, the Maine governor signed a new law effective September 12, 2009, relating to the collection and use of personally identifiable information (“PII”) of people under the age of 18. We have received a number of questions already regarding how to deal with this law, and we thought it would be helpful to provide some thoughts on the most frequently asked questions.

SPECIAL ALERT – Winston & Strawn LLP

So… I’ve not heard too many people whispering or worrying about this.  I find that strange.  Granted, there’s still like 3 weeks for someone to contest, but with house/senate on hiatus and things not resuming until Dec/January, seems like a bit of a narrow time period.

Can I suggest – if you’re a website that deals with any collection of personal information for anyone under the age of 18 (kid sites, teen sites, yadda), that  you talk to your legal reps (or safe harbor reps, if you’re in the uber-safe club).  Why?  Well, there’s new (well intentioned but poorly written – loop holes for both sides of the bill) legislation thanks to adhere to the state o’Maine.

Ahem, facebook, dude, I hope you’re ready.

No grace period. Consider THIS your grace period.  Better consult and figure out how much you’re in the safe zone, and if you’ve got your state gating, or whatever you need, in place.  Here’s some more info (click on the link, head to Ypulse, and read some more, or follow ypulse’s white rabbit link trail):

This morning Privo alerted us to a legislative move in Maine that will dramatically affect how companies interact with minors. The new law, which will go into effect September 2009, bans the use of minors’ health-related or personal information for marketing purposes. The Maine law expands on COPPA, using a similar definition of “personal information” but pertaining both to online and offline use and collection.

Under the new law:

– The knowing collection or receipt of health-related information or personal information for marketing purposes from a minor without first obtaining verifiable parental consent is prohibited.

– The sale or otherwise transfer of health-related information or personal information about a minor is prohibited, regardless of whet

– The use of 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 is strictly prohibited.

As far as enforcement, the law can be invoked by the State Attorney General as well as in a private rights of action – meaning private parties can sue companies for collecting or using minors’ personal information in violation of the law. In other words,  companies, both insidious and not so insidious, that currently collect personal information from minors may consider seeking out legal advice about the best way to avoid coming under fire this September.

Ypulse: Maine Bans The Use Of Minors’ Private Information For Marketing

Kudos to you folks, and best o luck!  Hopefully someone will swoop in and save the day before this comes to pass.

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