Ariel Pardee Quoted in Portland Press Herald: Enforcement of Maine’s Strict Online Privacy Law Begins without Clear Strategy

Maine has recently enacted a “landmark online privacy law,” banning internet service providers (ISPs) from collecting and selling customers’ personal information without their express permission. 

In discussing Maine’s new law, Pierce Atwood associate Ariel Pardee stated, “I think it does fundamentally change how (internet service providers) are dealing with consumer data. We haven’t had an opt-in law.” How this law will be enforced, however, is still unclear.

Without an enforcement provision, Ariel noted that Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey would ultimately be responsible for enforcing the law. Frey has indicated that he will rely largely on customers and the “good faith” of ISPs themselves to comply with the new law.

Ariel noted the difficulty of that approach. “Barring technological advancements that make the monitoring of data collection accessible to the everyday consumer, whistleblowers at the companies would most likely be the way that noncompliance would come to light, not consumer complaints.

“That’s often how these sorts of things get brought to our attention as consumers – somebody inside the company finds out and blows the whistle,” Pardee said. “As for the everyday consumer, I just don’t see how they would know.”

Please click here to view the complete article as published in the August 7, 2020 edition of Portland Press Herald.

Peter Guffin and Ariel Pardee recently co-authored an article on Maine’s new internet law for OneTrust Data Guidance: Maine: Internet privacy law advances consumer privacy protection and fills a federal-level regulatory void.