In September 2008, Massachusetts enacted a sweeping new privacy law to protect the personal information of Massachusetts residents that went into effect on March 1, 2010. If you do business with residents of Massachusetts or have employees that reside in Massachusetts, you must comply.
What are the key requirements?
The Massachusetts law is the first in the nation to require specific technology when protecting personal information. Both “data at rest” and “data in transit” over a public network, such as the Internet, that contain personal information must be encrypted.
Personal information is defined as a Massachusetts resident’s name in combination with one of the following – with or without a security code, access code, PIN, or password that would permit access to a resident’s financial account:
Social Security number
Driver’s license number or state-issued identification card number
Financial account number or credit/debit card number
What organizations are impacted?
This new legislation affects all organizations that own or license personal information of Massachusetts residents – regardless of the size or location of the business. And, organizations must require and oversee that third-party service providers with access to personal information also comply with the new law. Organizations affected include:
Businesses that track customers by account numbers (such as healthcare institutions and related vendors)
Retailers that accept credit cards for purchases by Massachusetts customers
Financial institutions (such as banks, insurers, or brokerages) with customers residing in Massachusetts
Companies with branch offices located in Massachusetts