Bangor Daily News: Maine lawmakers close in on nation-leading data privacy bill 

February 6, 2024

California passed a comprehensive consumer data privacy law in 2018, with 13 states since enacting varying legislation that followed models initially drafted by industry giants such as Amazon, per the Electronic Privacy Information Center and U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Those two groups released a report Monday giving “D” or “F” grades to nine of the 14 states — including Maine’s New England neighbors, New Hampshire and Connecticut — and a “B+” to California for privacy laws. O’Neil’s bill would earn Maine an “A” and become the strongest data privacy law in the nation, the groups said. 

The electronic privacy group, EPIC, and Consumer Reports have been among national groups backing O’Neil’s bill, along with Attorney General Aaron Frey, a Democrat. Big Tech firms and the Maine State Chamber of Commerce said last year they preferred Keim’s bill. After facing criticism it was too industry-friendly, Keim amended it to require firms receive “opt-in” consent for data collection and eliminate a small business exception, among other changes. 

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