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MRA: Minors' Data Ban 'Damages MR'

October 9 2009

In the US, the Marketing Research Association (MRA) has asked the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary in Maine to exempt survey and opinion research from a new law, which prohibits researchers from collecting, analyzing or storing data on persons under 18 years of age.

LaToya LangThe state's Prevent Predatory Marketing Practices Against Minors Act, which was passed in September, has been designed to protect minors, defined as those under the age of 18 years old.

However, it currently excludes the use of personally identifiable information for anyone under 18 for any purpose, regardless of whether parental consent has been granted.

The Maine Attorney General has agreed not to enforce the law as it stands, and The House Speaker and Senate President have arranged for a special meeting of the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary to discuss this issue on October 15 and 16.

In preparation for this meeting, the MRA has submitted written comments, and it is also encouraging researchers residing in Maine to contact its Government Affairs staff to assist in the association's advocacy campaign.

'MRA applauds the efforts of the legislature in reconsidering the harmful provisions of this law,' said LaToya Lang, Counsel for MRA. 'We call upon them to more carefully tailor the prohibition to apply only to the intended target of the Act: predatory marketing purposes.'

Web site: www.mra-net.org .

All articles 2006-19 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas.

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