Now the companies need explicit consent to sell people's data.
Stronger Data Protections
On Thursday, Governor Janet Mills of Maine signed a new law that prohibits internet service providers like AT&T or Spectrum from selling their users' personal data without explicit permission to do so.
The Act to Protect the Privacy of Online Consumer Information may be the most comprehensive data privacy law in the U.S., The Hill reports — since it’s the first that doesn't put the burden on customers to make sure they've opted out of the companies' privacy-infringing practices.
Mills said that the new law was "common sense" during the signing, according to The Hill. Come July 1, internet providers will no longer be able to pressure customers into selling their data through discounts or penalize them for opting out.
"The internet is a powerful tool, and as it becomes increasingly intertwined with our lives, it is appropriate to take steps to protect the personal information and privacy of Maine people," Mills said. "With this common-sense law, Maine people can access the internet with the knowledge and comfort that their personal information cannot be bought or sold by their ISPs without their express approval."
More on internet privacy: Two States Are Trying To Give People Control Over Their Online Data