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ME’s Restrictive Data Privacy Bill, AR Revisiting Crypto Mining Regulation & More

April 24, 2024 (2 min read)

ME House Passes Restrictive Data Privacy Bill

Maine’s House narrowly approved a bill (LD 1977) that would impose restrictions on the digital information that companies can collect. Businesses would only be allowed to collect “personal data” that is “reasonably necessary and proportionate to provide or maintain a specific product or service requested by the consumer” and only be permitted to collect “sensitive data” that is “strictly necessary to provide or maintain a specific product or service requested by the consumer.” (PORTLAND PRESS HERALD)

AR Legislature Revisits Crypto Mining

The Arkansas Senate City, County and Local Affairs Committee approved two bills that would amend the Arkansas Data Centers Act (Act 851) passed last year, which restricted local governments’ ability to regulate “digital asset mining businesses.” SB 78 would impose noise limits on such businesses and prohibit foreign parties from owning them. SB 79 would require such businesses to be licensed by the state’s Department of Energy and Environment. (ARKANSAS ADVOCATE, LEXISNEXIS STATE NET)

MN House Passes Social Media Bill

Minnesota’s House passed a bill (HF 4077) that would institute consumer protections for users of social media. The bill would require social media platforms to allow users to determine what content they want to see. It would also require platforms to set strict default privacy settings and allow users to opt into “heightened” protections blocking features designed to keep them online, such as auto-play videos and infinite scroll, which platforms would have to automatically enable for minors. Platforms would also have to limit new account interactions to reduce so-called “burner” accounts, prevent user-generated content from being “scraped” for training artificial intelligence without user consent, and disclose information about how the platforms’ algorithms operate. (CENTER SQUARE)

CA Assembly Panel Advances Porn Website Age Verification Bill

The California Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee voted unanimously to advance AB 3080, which would require pornographic websites “to take reasonable steps to ensure” their content is only accessed by adults. Similar legislation has been passed by several red states, including Texas. (SACRAMENTO BEE)

Journalism Groups Call for Investigation of Google

The California News Publishers Association and the News/Media Alliance, two leading journalism trade groups, sent a letter last week urging California AG Rob Bonta (D) and the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Google for possible violation of antitrust and unfair competition laws with its decision to remove California news from some users’ search results. Google’s decision was prompted by legislation pending in California (AB 886), the California Journalism Preservation Act, which would require online companies like Google to pay usage fees for the news content they link to. The measure was passed by the state’s Assembly last year but has been held up in the Senate. (SACRAMENTO BEE, CNBC, LEXISNEXIS STATE NET)

—Compiled by SNCJ Managing Editor KOREY CLARK

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