If you ever wondered why it is so easy to find your home address and other private information online, look no further than what recently happened in a courtroom in Maine.

The state recently passed one of the country’s strictest internet privacy laws, but they had to do so over the swift and severe objections of many of the country's biggest telecommunications providers.

According to Maine’s Attorney General, these companies hired "an army of industry lawyers organized against us."

The Verdict

Thankfully, attempts to overturn the legislation did not prove successful. As a result, Maine will continue to enforce an “opt-in” web privacy standard, and stop service providers from using, disclosing, selling or providing access to customers' personal information without permission.

That they continue to do so with impunity elsewhere (with the exception of a few other states such as California) is unfortunate – not to mention dangerous for judges, police officers and others who are put at risk by this information being readily available.

Maine’s Governor Janet Mills defended the privacy protection law as "common sense." We agree. We hope that other states will adopt similar legislation, or perhaps Congress will take action to grant internet privacy to all of us.

But Won’t That Put us Out of Business?

That sounds great to us – but we know it won’t happen, because laws are worthless unless someone enforces them. Right now California and eight other states have a law that prevents the private information of judges and police officers from being available online to access or to purchase. But our scans continue to find violations of this law every single week – and then we take action to enforce it. We have successfully removed home addresses for clients in states where they do not have this protection, but backed by the law we can be more aggressive and even more successful.

More state laws or a federal law will provide you with additional grounds to demand that your privacy is maintained. And if the same protection now offered only to some municipal employees is extended to everyone, that just means fewer people will be vulnerable to potential harassment, vandalism and violence.

Until that happens, it’s important to take action to protect your privacy now. We can help you with that.

Start Protecting Yourself Now


Ron Zayas

CEO & Chief Strategist

Ron brings decades of expertise in marketing, advertising and e-commerce strategies to 360Civic. There is not one aspect of any client project that is not enhanced through his experience, insight, and... Read more

Get great ideas and the latest trends in technology in the public sector.

Signup for our free 360Civic newsletter