` Maine Considering LD 946 to Protect Privacy of ISP Customers - Clarip Privacy Blog

Maine Considering LD 946 to Protect Privacy of ISP Customers

Maine is considering a bill to enhance the privacy protections of internet users by regulating Internet Service Provider data privacy practices in its state.

LD 946 is called An Act to Protect the Privacy of Online Customer Information. It would implement rules adopted by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) during President Obama’s Administration but blocked by the Federal Government in 2017.

The bill would prohibit a provider of broadband Internet access service from using, disclosing, selling or permitting access to a customer’s personal information unless the customer expressly consents to the use, disclosure, sale or access. It also contains an anti-discrimination clause that prohibits a provider from discriminating against a customer who exercises their rights under the law, with specific prohibitions on refusing to serve a customer, charging a penalty, or offering a discount. A public hearing was held on the bill by the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee this week.

The customer personal information protected includes the customer’s name, billing information, social security number, billing address, demographic data, web browsing history, application usage history, precise geolocation information, financial information, health information, information pertaining to the customer’s children, device identifier such as IP address, and the content of communications.


The exceptions to the opt-in consent requirement include necessary services, advertising/marketing of the services, compliance with a lawful court order, billing and collection, fraud, and certain geolocation information concerning the customer.

The bill also requires implementation of reasonable security measures to protect personal information. The provider is allowed to take into account the nature of its activities, the sensitivity of the data, the size of the provider and the technical feasibility of the security measures when determining what measures to employ.

The proposed bill is not a comprehensive privacy law similar to the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which went into effect last year or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) which will go into effect on January 1, 2020. Instead, it is limited to regulating internet service providers.

The bill was also considered by the Maine House and Senate last year as LD 1610. The House voted 82-63 in favor of adopting the bill but the Senate voted 19-16 against it. The vote last year took place shortly after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony on Capitol Hill concerning Facebook privacy practices and the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

We were not able to find an audio archive of the public hearing of the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee to listen to the testimony. There were three public comments posted on the Maine Legislature website and all of them were in support of the measure. One was from the head of a local ISP that said the cost of the regulations would be minimal.

Other Relevant Posts:

Maine Considering LD 946 to Protect Privacy of ISP Customers
Illinois House Passes Data Transparency and Privacy Act; Senate Passes KIDS Act
Texas Considers Consumer Privacy Act and Privacy Protection Act
Update: Special Session of Appropriations Committee Saves Washington Privacy Act for Another Week
No Washington Privacy Act This Year?
Washington Privacy Act – Initial Look at the Current House Version
Summary of Connecticut SB 1108 on Data Privacy
Summary of Public Hearings on Maryland Online Consumer Protection Act
Summary of Washington Privacy Act After State Senate Passes
Florida Legislature Considers Biometric Information Privacy Act
Maryland Considering SB613 / HB0901 – Online Consumer Protection Act
With SD341, Massachusetts Joins States Considering CCPA-like Data Privacy Laws
Public Hearing on Washington Privacy Act (SSB 5376) in Senate Ways & Means – More Work to Be Done?
State CCPA Privacy Bills in Rhode Island, Hawaii and New Jersey
North Dakota Considers Study on Privacy Practices of Data Brokers

More Resources:

Check out the materials Clarip has gathered on the CCPA and contact us to see a demo of the Clarip privacy management platform used by Fortune 500 clients.

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