Articles

08Oct

MRA Requests Reconsideration from Maine Legislature

(Glastonbury, Conn.) The Marketing Research Association requested today that the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary in Maine exempt survey and opinion research from their data transfer prohibitions. A new Maine law, the Prevent Predatory Marketing Practices against Minors Act, aimed at protecting minors in Maine under 18 years old, prohibits any transfer of their personally identifiable information, for any purpose, regardless of any parental consent.

Although the Maine legislature was not scheduled to reconvene until January, the House Speaker and Senate President recently arranged for a special meeting of the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary on October 15 and 16. MRA submitted written comments in response yesterday.

“MRA applauds the efforts of the legislature in reconsidering the harmful provisions of this law. We call upon them to more carefully tailor the prohibition on transferring minors’ personally-identifiable data to apply only to the intended target of the Act: predatory marketing purposes,” said LaToya Lang, Counsel for MRA.

The Maine law prohibits the sale, offer for sale, or transfer of health-related or personal information about a minor (under 18) if that information is personally identifiable. As explained by MRA previously, although the Maine Attorney General has agreed to not enforce the law as it stands, private lawsuits are still a possibility.

Researchers residing in Maine are encouraged to contact MRA’s Government Affairs staff to assist in MRA’s advocacy campaign.

About the Author

Howard Fienberg

Howard Fienberg

Based in Washington, DC, Howard is the Insights Association's lobbyist for the marketing research and data analytics industry, focusing primarily on consumer privacy and data security, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), tort reform, and the funding and integrity of the decennial Census and the American Community Survey (ACS). Howard has more than two decades of public policy experience. Before the Insights Association, he worked in Congress as senior legislative staffer for then-Representatives Christopher Cox (CA-48) and Cliff Stearns (FL-06). He also served more than four years with a science policy think tank, working to improve the understanding of scientific and social research and methodology among journalists and policymakers. Howard is also co-director of The Census Project, a 900+ member coalition in support of a fair and accurate Census and ACS. He has also served previously on the Board of Directors for the National Institute for Lobbying and Ethics and and the Association of Government Relations Professionals. Howard has an MA International Relations from the University of Essex in England and a BA Honors Political Studies from Trent University in Canada, and has obtained the Certified Association Executive (CAE), Professional Lobbying Certificate (PLC) and the Public Policy Certificate (PPC). When not running advocacy for the Insights Association, Howard enjoys hockey, NFL football, sci-fi and horror movies, playing with his dog, and spending time with family and friends.

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