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Maine passes bill prohibiting ISPs from selling customer data without consent

By onetheycallEric · 26 replies
Jun 1, 2019
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  1. Internet service providers have a tendency to slurp user data, and since federal protections were reversed in 2017, ISPs are largely free to monetize customer browsing data without so much as consent or even an opt-out. The state of Maine aims to change that with the passage of a new bill.

    The state's Senate voted unanimously to pass the bill, after the bill found similar favor in the state House. The bill, LD 946, requires ISPs to obtain consent before collecting, disclosing, selling or permitting access to customer information. LD 946 outlines exceptions where ISPs can use customer information without consent, such as honoring a court order or in case of emergency services.

    According to the text of the bill, personal information includes browsing history, application usage, and geolocation data -- the latter of which is at the center of a class-action lawsuit against major wireless carriers. The legislation also outlines an exhaustive list of information considered personally identifying that a service provider wouldn't be allowed to touch without consent.

    The bill reads that ISPs cannot refuse service to or otherwise penalize a customer for withholding consent. Additionally, ISPs will not be permitted to provide customers with discounts for their consent. The bill's language echoes a similar theme to that of the one passed in California last year, in that states are fed up with the sweeping disregard and fleeting lip service from ISPs regarding consumer privacy.

    The bill is currently awaiting a signature from Governor Janet Mills before being enacted into law.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,820   +2,173

    Its a start, and perhaps a big one at that. Next steps, IMO, should be gagme and fakebook then followed closely by m$ and crApple.
     
  3. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 858   +360

    So the agreement you sign with your isp for service will just have a consent clause. Congrats solves nothing but makes the gov look good I guess.
     
  4. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,249   +3,666

    "The bill reads that ISPs cannot refuse service to or otherwise penalize a customer for withholding consent. Additionally, ISPs will not be permitted to provide customers with discounts for their consent. The bill's language echoes a similar theme to that of the one passed in California last year, in that states are fed up with the sweeping disregard and fleeting lip service from ISPs regarding consumer privacy."
    As the bill states, the ISP's cannot refuse you service if you choose not to give them consent and I'm willing to bet that if any of them try to trick you they are going to be facing some hefty fines as well as civil actions. It's a great start but you can bet that the ISP's will use this as their springboard to significantly raise your rates unless that is addressed quickly .....
     
  5. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,804   +664

    "very strongly worded" Gotta Love It!
     
  6. onetheycallEric

    onetheycallEric TS Addict Topic Starter Posts: 97   +17

    I'm interested to see what/how ISPs will exploit any perceived loophole. Or if they'll have their lobbyists march to Maine to squash it. We'll see.
     
  7. lexster

    lexster TS Addict Posts: 279   +135

    This is only good for privacy. Now let's see it go nationwide..
     
  8. gamerk2

    gamerk2 TS Maniac Posts: 244   +154

    They'll just add a "By using this service, you consent to the sale of your user data" clause to their TOS. This really doesn't solve anything; it's a bill that exists so politicians can say "We passed a bill".
     
  9. lexster

    lexster TS Addict Posts: 279   +135

    Did you actually read the article and the wording of the bill? Try again..
     
  10. gamerk2

    gamerk2 TS Maniac Posts: 244   +154

    The Supreme Court has already ruled that adding such clauses to a TOS counts as consent as far as the law is concerned. All that is going to change is a consent clause will get added to every websites TOS, therefore complying with the letter of the law without actually changing anything.
     
  11. lexster

    lexster TS Addict Posts: 279   +135

    Unless a state law prohibits it, thus this new state law, and Califonia's new laws. The Supreme court is not the end-all-be-all of the law. It carries heavy weight, but States are allowed to disregard the Supreme Court if the need arises.
    And any company that does so will be open to citizen legal action they can not defend.
     
  12. gamerk2

    gamerk2 TS Maniac Posts: 244   +154

    No they are not; any rulings by the Supreme Court trump any state level law to the contrary of the courts rulings. Laws can be tailored in such a way as to work around the margins of the courts rulings, but can not contradict any ruling made by the court.

    Based on prior rulings, companies can meet Maine's consent requirement by adding it into their TOS. Thus, the consumers give their consent to have their personal data collected and sold as a requirement for using the site.

    See above; such lawsuits would have no legs to stand on.
     
  13. lexster

    lexster TS Addict Posts: 279   +135

    Yup, ok. :laughing:
     
  14. gamerk2

    gamerk2 TS Maniac Posts: 244   +154

    It's clear you have a lack of understanding of how court rulings work in practice. Nullification has been a dead argument from the beginning of this country and has never been upheld by a single Federal court.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nullification_(U.S._Constitution)

    And here's a long list of relevant cases on the topic:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_v._Hunter's_Lessee
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cohens_v._Virginia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osborn_v._Bank_of_the_United_States
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worcester_v._Georgia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ableman_v._Booth
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooper_v._Aaron

    The last *explicitly* rejected Nullification.

    So, what's the legal basis of your argument? Because mine is backed by 250+ years of prior legal history.
     
  15. lexster

    lexster TS Addict Posts: 279   +135

    That applies only to matters that effect the entire nation. States still and always will have the option to create laws which supersede effect of federal law within that state. You need to learn the meaning of context.
    You also need to learn how to count.
    2019 - 1776 = ?
    That answer certainly isn't 250+...
     
  16. gamerk2

    gamerk2 TS Maniac Posts: 244   +154

    Again, false. You are talking EXACTLY about Nullification, and I've already posted pretty much the entire legal history of that topic. So either post a rebuttal that is legally sound, or stop talking about things that you clearly don't know about.
     
  17. lexster

    lexster TS Addict Posts: 279   +135

    Again, context matters and you are failing to understand it.
     
  18. gamerk2

    gamerk2 TS Maniac Posts: 244   +154

    Uhhh...no. In this case, the law is perfectly clear.

    Per United States v. Peters:

    Per Martin v. Hunter's Lessee:

    Per Cohens v. Virginia:

    Per Osborn v. Bank of the United States:

    Per Worcester v. Georgia:

    Per Ableman v. Booth:

    Per Cooper v. Aaron:

    So, would you care to quote one, just one case in all of US history that supports your view? Because guess what? I'm not dropping this. So either post something that legally supports your view, or stop posting. You are NOT getting the last word on this.
     
  19. lexster

    lexster TS Addict Posts: 279   +135

    How about the states who are passing these laws? Yes?
    I don't need to? The States are doing that for me by, again, passing the laws they are passing. They are fully within States rights under the constitution. The failure to understand context here is not with me or the States. Carry on though...
     
  20. gamerk2

    gamerk2 TS Maniac Posts: 244   +154

    Call me when the courts uphold said laws.
     
  21. lexster

    lexster TS Addict Posts: 279   +135

    Ok, done. See below. Pay careful attention to the notes listed state by state. As of today, most of those bills passed into law. The courts don't need to uphold these laws. They are in full effect and enforceable until a court over-rides or public vote rescinds them.

    http://www.ncsl.org/research/teleco...ogy/net-neutrality-legislation-in-states.aspx

    You were saying?
     
  22. gamerk2

    gamerk2 TS Maniac Posts: 244   +154

    None of those laws goes against any Federal law, regulation, or court decision that I can see. Let's look at each specific case:

    California's is non-enforceable and depending on current lawsuits that will determine if the FCC has the authority to regulate (or in this case, not-regulate) ISPs.

    Ah yes, a "Congress, do something" resolution. Otherwise known as "A strongly worded letter".

    This is perfectly legal. While States can not contradict Federal regulations, there is nothing in this law that goes against a Federal regulation that is currently in effect. Remember, the FCC removed Net Neutrality regulations at the Federal level, but did not ban them outright. States are well within their rights to force their own public agencies to only contract ISPs that follow NN principles, so long as the scope of said agencies are limited in state.

    Same legal reasoning as the above.

    The first half of this is just disclosure, which is perfectly legal. The second half is legally dubious and largely depends on the outcome of the FCCs Net Neutrality lawsuit. I don't see how this would stand up in court if the FCCs provision prevails.
     
  23. lexster

    lexster TS Addict Posts: 279   +135

    As was said before, you keep missing the point, the context and the big picture. Maine's bill is passed. It is now law and will be enforced. Califonia's laws will likely prevail. Why you ask?;
    Yes, they do have the right and authority to regulate ISP's. Just because the current director of the FCC disagrees doesn't make him correct. ISP's provide a utility service that needs regulation, strict regulation. And if the Federal government is not going to provide for such regulation, the states are perfectly within their right's and authority to do it on their own. And they are, regardless of the corporate sponsored back-biting. The laws will stand.

    The rest of your response is cherry-picking/nit-picking.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019 at 1:00 PM
  24. gamerk2

    gamerk2 TS Maniac Posts: 244   +154

    While I agree on this, ultimately the courts will decide the matter.

    On the provision the laws do not conflict with any federal law or regulation, yes.
     
  25. lexster

    lexster TS Addict Posts: 279   +135

    Incorrect. This situation is no different than the MJ laws. Those laws legalized something that the Federal government has deemed illegal. Inside those states, MJ is lawful to own and use. Cross state boarders and the matter changes. However, those state laws are still legal. There is no difference here. The States in question are not satisfied with the action/inaction of the Federal government and are actively effecting what the FCC failed at. The States can and have passed laws which supersede and go right around Federal laws in the name of public interest/rights. The Federal governments case against California will most likely fail and those laws will go into full effect.
     

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