5 Common Misconceptions about Mass Privacy Law 201 CMR 17.00 : Part 1/5. Not Me!

The new Massachusetts “Standards for the Protection of Personal Information of Residents of the Commonwealth” is one of the toughest consumer protection laws in the country. While it means some extra work for businesses most will find it manageable and well worth the effort. There is still confusion out there. Some questions (and “statements”) I have heard:

1. This doesn’t apply to me, I’m a small business. Or I’m part-time. Or a sole proprietor. Or <insert excuse here>.

From the law itself, “standards to be met by persons who own, license, store or maintain personal information about a resident of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

Legal definition of “Person” = person, corporation, partnership, nonprofit, whatever. Yes, this applies to YOU.

The law defines “Personal information” as any combination of a name and

  • Driver’s license number
  • Social Security number
  • Bank or financial account number
  • Credit or debit card number

So legally you’re on the hook if you maintain, license, store, or own these details about Massachusetts residents.

Do you take credit cards? These rules apply to you.
Do you handle checks? These rules apply to you.
Do you have employees? These rules apply to you.

Whether you handle this information on computer, paper, or only by committing each detail to your memory…
…these rules apply to you.

Next time: “But this really doesn’t apply to me, I don’t save ANY PI on the computer, EVER!”

Please contact Charland Technology if you’d like more information about our Compliance Review services.

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