Monday, December 7, 2009

New Massachussets Regulations go into Effect in March

Now is the time to start gearing up for compliance with the Bay State's strict new data protection regulations, reports the Boston Herald. The rules take effect in March. Businesses that ignore them "could be at risk," said Bob Baker of the Smaller Business Association of New England. The regulations are widely considered the strictest in the nation. They require entities that possess personal information on any Massachusetts resident to employ certain measures to protect that data. According to Barbara Anthony of the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs, the goal of the law is to "create a culture of security consciousness with respect to the handling of personal information." Editor's note: Privacy Tracker subscribers, for a compliance guide on the Mass. data protection regulations, visit the Privacy Tracker Web site.
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All covered businesses should follow these guidelines carefully. What will happen within the next 12 months is that this will become a federal set of regulations, and at that point there will be no time to argue over compliance and exemptions. Smart companies will put this sort of program in effect prior to that.