Last week a complaint was filed in Federal Court in Maine (1)seeking a declaratory judgment that the recently passed Maine statute(10 MRSA SEC 9551 et seq,)— which prevents the collection of personal information for marketing purposes from a minor without parental consent and further restricts the use of such information for the purpose of marketing a product or service to a minor —is unconstitutional and (2) seeking an injunction against the enforcement of said statute.
In response thereto, on Friday Aug. 28, the Attorney General of Maine, Janet Mills, commented as follows:
“After speaking with the sponsor and other legislators involved in it, I think they understand that the law is not presently enforceable,” Mills told Capitol News Service. “And so the position we’ll take in the court, I believe, is that we won’t be acting to enforce the law as currently drafted.”
Mills say she has spoken with the measure’s sponsor, Sen. Elizabeth Schneider, a Democrat from Orono, and suggested they craft changes to the law that will achieve Schneider’s original goal of preventing minors from sharing sensitive health information online without infringing on constitutional rights.
However,notwithstanding the above, the AG may oppose the motion for a preliminary injunction by plaintiffs, because she may contend that there is no case or controversy and the case is moot in view of the nonenforcement. Since however, the statute also allows for a private right of action, it is possible that pending a rewrite of the statute, which goes into effect Sept. 12, clients may be in limbo vis a vis such private enforcement even if the AG does not enforce the statute. Accordingly, in such event,businesses are advised to consult with their attorneys as to the course of action they should undertake in the interim.