Maine Privacy Law Applies Stringent Limits to Collection of Personal Information of Minors

A new Maine law gets serious about data collection and marketing  to minors.  The key portion of the law:

§ 9552.  Unlawful collection and use of data from minors 1.  Unlawful collection. It is unlawful for a person to knowingly collect or receive health-related information or personal information for marketing purposes from a minor without first obtaining verifiable parental consent of that minor's parent or legal guardian. 2.  Unlawful use. A person may not sell, offer for sale or otherwise transfer to another person health-related information or personal information about a minor if that information: A.  Was unlawfully collected pursuant to subsection 1; B.  Individually identifies the minor; or C.  Will be used in violation of section 9553. § 9553.  Predatory marketing against minors prohibited 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. Use of information in violation of this section constitutes predatory marketing.

The law provides for a private right of action with possible recoveries up to $750 per violation in damages, as well as civil penalties:

3.  Civil violation; penalty. Notwithstanding the penalty provisions of Title 5, section 209, each violation of this chapter constitutes a civil violation for which a fine may be assessed of: A.  No less than $10,000 and no more than $20,000 for a first violation; and B.  No less than $20,000 for a 2nd or subsequent violation

The law takes effect on September 12, 2009.