Yesterday, in a follow-up to last October’s problematic marketing to minors law, the Maine state legislature considered a new proposal that attempted to narrow the prohibition of certain kinds of marketing information aimed at minors. CDT prepared a vigorous challenge to the proposed law, LD 1677, submitting testimony Wednesday and sending our General Counsel, John Morris, up to Augusta on Thursday to testify about the constitutional concerns raised by the bill.
We were pleasantly surprised when the bill’s co-sponsor, Sen. Elizabeth Schneider, distributed an amended version of the new legislation a few hours before the hearing. The amended version of LD 1677 addresses the majority of concerns CDT had with the first draft of the bill. Those concerns are highlighted in our testimony:
LD 1677 originally prohibited the online collection and use of minors’ personal information (which includes email addresses) in order to advertise or otherwise promote the sale of pharmaceuticals. This greatly restricted minors’ ability to request to receive information about sensitive health topics without getting a parent’s consent.
The amended version includes an exception that permits online entities to collect minors’ email addresses in order to respond to requests for information initiated by minors themselves.