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January/February 2010

New data protection laws

The deadline has been a moving target but come March 1, Massachusetts' new data protection law is finally slated to take effect. 201 CMR 17.00, along with Nevada's 603A, which took effect in January, represent a new class of state regulations that require organizations to deploy specific controls to protect personal identifying information from unauthorized access. Massachusetts and Nevada have established a new standard for personal data protection and appear to have set the stage for more prescriptive laws at the federal level. These new laws are the result of pressures on lawmakers to do something to combat the countless compromises of credit cards, Social Security numbers, and bank account information we hear about every day. They provide clear guidance on how personal data must be protected and who is ultimately responsible for its protection. Instead of just requiring organizations to notify data security breach victims, the new regulations go a step further by trying to prevent breaches from occurring in the first place. ...

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