Stop big tech from spying on Maine.

Corporations have built a surveillance economy, collecting people’s most sensitive information without their consent – all to turn a profit. This risks our safety, exacerbates inequality, and threatens our democracy.

Big Tech is Watching Our Every Move.

Spying on us across the web:

Tracking systems are built into nearly every website and app, collecting information about your every click, search, and action across the web, across apps, and across devices – whether you give them consent or not.

For instance, a seemingly benign exercise app can track you leaving your house and attending a political event. Big Tech can, and does, sell that information to advertisers who then market candidates and products they think you may like. Additionally, the government could purchase that data or obtain it with a warrant, threatening various constitutional rights. No company needs to collect and sell that kind of personal information when you are simply moving around town.

Discriminating based on race and gender:

Tech giants are increasingly feeding our data to algorithms to make decisions about hiring, offering loans, accepting students, and more. This brings redlining into the digital age. These proprietary algorithms can decide someone's future, and they are buried in opaque code.

Risking consumer safety:

The more a company collects on us, the more exposed we are in the event of a data breach. The risks increase when companies store data for long periods, share our information with other companies, or sell our information to anyone willing to pay.

Hackers could also learn the most sensitive details about you. In addition to stealing something like a credit card number that can be replaced, hackers could learn the most sensitive details about you: your biometrics, such as the finger- or palm-print companies increasingly push customers to use to pay for groceries. This risks your most sensitive, irreplaceable information. Unlike a credit card number, you cannot change your biometrics.

Moreover, data collection has made it easy for the government to spy on people outside the bounds of the law, and for people to stalk former partners. For example, the ACLU sued ClearView AI after it collected and sold millions of internet users’ information that buyers then used to stalk former partners. The simple act of using the internet should never expose people to violence. 

Manipulating voters and threatening democracy:

Companies use our personal information to manipulate people into voting certain ways, not voting at all, or joining movements to undermine democracy itself. Ten years ago, Cambridge Analytica created and sold voters’ psychological profiles to political campaigns after acquiring millions of Facebook users’ private data. That data was used to misinform voters and destabilize our democracy. Ten years later, threats like this have only grown.

It's Time to Implement Nation-Leading Privacy Protections in Maine.

Most states receive a failing grade on data privacy, but pending legislation could provide Maine's people with the strongest protections in the nation. Read more about the data privacy scorecard here.

The current version of LD 1977 would implement sensible guardrails for tech giants operating in Maine. These policies would not restrict small business owners that make Maine's economy vibrant.

Data minimization:

Data minimization limits the collection and use of personal information to what a consumer would expect a company to collect to provide a good or service. This is called data minimization.

To put this into context, have you ever noticed that if you use your GPS app to go somewhere like a coffee shop, you then get ads for related products and services? Under the data minimization policies in LD 1977, your GPS app could collect the information needed to get you from point A to point B, but it could not sell your private information that generates those ads and gives you the sense someone knows exactly where you’ve been, what you do in your personal time, what you like, and more. 

Civil rights protections:

Our information is increasingly used by algorithms and AI to make decisions about us in employment, education, credit, and more. LD 1977 would make sure technology is not used to discriminate.

Safeguarding biometrics:

People must be able to protect their most sensitive information. When hackers steal your fingerprint, you cannot reset it like a password or replace it like a credit card.

Looking Ahead:

In addition to the protections in LD 1977, Maine's people need avenues to hold Big Tech accountable when these tech giants break the law. We will continue fighting for Maine's people to have the right to hold Big Tech accountable in court.

Bill Movement:

This bill originated in 2023 during the First Regular Session of the 131st Legislature. It was not passed in 2023 and was carried over into 2024 to be considered during the Second Regular Session of the 131st Legislature.

  1. Bill printed: 5/22/2023
  2. Referred to Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary: 5/23/2023
  3. Carried over from 2023 to 2024: 7/25/2023
  4. Public hearing in committee: 10/17/2023
  5. Work session and vote in committee: 3/26/2024 (DIVIDED REPORT)
    • Ought to pass as amended: 8

    • Ought not to pass: 6

  6. House vote: N/A
  7. Senate vote: N/A
  8. Action by governor: N/A


Representative Margaret M. O'Neil


Active, 2024 Priority


The Second Regular Session of the 131st Legislature

Bill number



ACLU of Maine Policy Director Meagan Sway delivered testimony on October 17, 2023, in support of LD 1977.