Legal minute with Cooley Shrair: Protection of Personal Information

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (Mass Appeal) –  What should business owners, employers and individuals know when it comes to protecting your personal information? Attorney John Davis from the Law Offices of Cooley Shrair in Springfield shared more.

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Is there a special law addressing the protection of personal information of ma residents?
Yes there is. Massachusetts has a law that, in large part, went into effect in 2010 seeking to protect the personal information of its residents. It was in response to identity theft concerns.

What is the information that the statute is designed to protect?
The law seeks to protect the collection of data comprised of one’s name, in combination with one’s social security number, driver’s license number, or any financial account or credit or debit card number, that would permit access to the financial account. The information is that of Massachusetts residents. Excludes information that is obtainable from public information or government records open to the general public. The goal is to prevent the theft or accidental disclosure of such personal information. Applies basically to businesses or employers who possess or have access to public personal information.

What does the law require businesses or employers to do with regard to personal information?
They must develop a “comprehensive information security program” to safeguard the personal information possessed or accessable by the business or employer.
The specific requirements vary depending on the business and the risks involved, but are extensive.

Among other things, the program must include:

Someone to monitor the program;
Restrictions on physical access to records;
Security systems covering all computers, including electronic transmissions.

Are there consequences for one’s failuure to comply with the law.
Yes. And the consequences could be costly. So any business or employer possessing or having access to personal information of Mass residents would be well advised to have its policies and procedures reviewed for compliance with the personal information protection laws applicable to it.

About Cooley Shrair:
Cooley, Shrair P.C., founded in 1946 by Judge Sidney M. Cooley and Attorney Edward B. Cooley, is a progressive law firm located in Springfield, MA. Cooley Shrair provides unequaled service to its clients. Our unparalleled response time to our clients’ needs is the foundation of our mission statement.

At Cooley Shrair, family and business have always had a way of blending together. We know the importance of balancing the boardroom and the courtroom with the living room from time to time. We listen carefully to understand our clients’ concerns and work vigorously with them to develop strategies for success. It’s not just business, it’s personal.

We pride ourselves in being the most responsive lawyers in the area, covering virtually every area of practice for individuals and multinational corporations across the United States and Canada. Cooley Shrair is recognized consistently for exceeding client expectations and providing competent, integrated, and cost-effective legal services.

Our attorneys are each distinguished in their respective areas of concentration and are complemented by a professional support staff. Cooley Shrair is a formidable opponent who fiercely advocates on behalf of our clients and we take pride in our commitment to provide unparalleled response and unparalleled solutions.

We’re a family, and to us, that’s very personal business.

Promotional consideration provided by Cooley Shrair.

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