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Maryland: Bill on online children's data introduced to Senate

Senate Bill 844 for An Act concerning Consumer Protection - Online Products and Services - Children's Data was introduced, on 6 February 2023, to the Maryland Senate, and thereafter referred, on the same date, to the Finance Committee, where it was read for the first time. In particular, the bill is based on the consideration that children should be afforded protections not only by online products specifically directed to them, but by all online products they are likely to access.

To this end, the bill would require businesses that develop and provide online services that children are likely to access, to prepare a Data Protection Impact Assessment ('DPIA') for the online product. More in detail, the bill provides that the DPIA shall:

  • identify the purpose of the online product;
  • identify how the online product uses children's personal information;
  • identify the risks of material detriment to children that arise from the data management practices of the business; and
  • assess, to the extent applicable, whether the design of the online product could harm children in various manners.

Notably, the bill would establish that businesses may not offer the products concerned to the public before completing a DPIA.

Separately, the bill is a companion to House Bill 901.

You can read the bill here and track its progress here.