Marketing Brew: Maryland passes pair of strong privacy bills 

April 12, 2024

Caitriona Fitzgerald, deputy director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), told Marketing Brew the Maryland Online Data Privacy Act would be the strongest comprehensive privacy law among the states with such legislation; if it becomes law, Maryland would be the 16th state to protect consumer privacy. The bill contains strong data minimization rules, Fitzgerald said, and existing privacy laws in several other states have fewer restrictions. 

“Companies can only collect what’s reasonably necessary for the product or service I’m asking for,” Fitzgerald said. “If I download a weather app, they can use my location to give me the weather; that’s necessary for the product or service I’m asking for. But they can’t sell my data, my location data, to a dozen data brokers. That’s not necessary for the service.” 

Maryland’s bill is a “gamechanger,” she said, in part because other states may follow suit with legislation that has more stringent consumer protections. 

“Big Tech tries to get state legislators to feel like no one will be able to access the internet if they pass this strong law,” Fitzgerald said. “It certainly helps to have a strong law pass in a state like Maryland and show states the sky didn’t fall.” 

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