Archive: March 11, 2010

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Do You Comply with the New Massachusetts Information Security Regulation?

Do You Comply with the New Massachusetts Information Security Regulation?

By Bruce H. Nielson, K&L Gates Partner, Washington D.C.

What Does the Regulation Require?

Every business that “owns or licenses personal information” about a Massachusetts resident must “develop, implement, and maintain” a comprehensive written information security program (WISP).  “Owns or licenses” is defined as “receives, stores, maintains, processes, or otherwise has access to personal information in connection with the provision of goods or services or in connection with employment.”  “Personal information” (PI) means first name (or initial) and last name combined with a Social Security number, driver’s license or state-issued ID card number, or financial account or credit or debit card number (with or without any required password, security or access code, or personal identification number).

The WISP must contain administrative, technical and physical safeguards for PI that are “appropriate to (a) the size, scope and type of business . . .; (b) the amount of resources available . . .; (c) the amount of stored data; and (d) the need for security and confidentiality” of the PI. 

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