Mass Law Blog

My firm’s Client Advisory on Massachusetts Data Security Regulations, Which Took Effect (at long last) on March 1st

My partner Joe Laferrera has been incredibly active in connection with the Massachusetts Data Security Regulations, which took effect on March 1, 2010 after multiple delays (initial deadline was January 1, 2009; second deadline May 1, 2009; third deadline January 1, 2010).

Among other things, Joe has co-chaired the Boston Bar Association Privacy Committee last year and this, and organized what seems like countless programs on the regulations.  He has also spoken to legal and business groups around the country on the topic (example of presentation materials here, and White Paper here). (more…)

What a Phish …

A phish I received this weekend.  These are getting better and better (no typos, no foreign language malapropisms), and I can easily see some small percentage of recipients getting “caught” by this phishing expedition.  These links get shut down almost immediately, but I have disabled this link, in the same spirit that I’d be careful with an empty gun.

BOA Phish

Presentation Materials on Massachusetts Data Regulations

Recently my partner Joseph Laferrera has given a series of presentations and webinars on the controversial new Massachusetts data security regulations. Information on his upcoming webinar with Ntirety (a database administrator and client of our firm), on April 2, 2009 at 10:00 a.m., is available at this link.

A copy of the slides Joe is using now (they change often, based on developments), is on, here:

The New Standard – Massachusetts’ Sweeping New Data Protection Rules

New Massachusetts Rules on Data Security a Game Changer

The department of consumer affairs and business regulation shall adopt regulations relative to any person that owns or licenses personal information about a resident of the commonwealth. Such regulations shall be designed to safeguard the personal information of residents of the commonwealth …

M.G.L. Chapter 93H: Section 2

Here is a link to the Executive Order signed by Governor Patrick on September 19, 2008.

The Executive Order applies to State agencies; the regulations apply to the private sector.

The regulations are of particular interest. They require private sector entities who keep personal information about individuals to meet “minimum” security standards for paper and electronic records. They apply broadly to “persons who own, license, store or maintain personal information about a resident of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts”. They require the creation of a “written information security program” which must be “reasonably consistent with industry standards.” The most minimal requirements of such a program are (to my eye) quite extensive (and burdensome). I think it is an understatement to say that the regulation and Executive Order will attract a great deal of attention and preparation between now and year-end, and will likely spawn a new (or expanded) industry of compliance consultants.