Massachusetts Revises Small Business Identity Theft Regulations

Last week, Massachusetts state regulators responded to complaints from small businesses and stakeholder groups by issuing revised regulations aimed at preventing identity theft by computer hackers.  Small business supporters opposed the original version of the rule, which was released last year.  They included Advocacy’s former Region I Advocate, Steve Adams, who expressed concern that the rules would be too burdensome for smaller businesses to implement.

Barbara Anthony, Governor Deval Patrick’s undersecretary of consumer affairs and business regulations, said the latest rules are designed to be more flexible for small firms while still requiring tougher standards for protecting sensitive data from hackers.

“In listening to the concerns of small business leaders, we understand there were issues regarding the impact these regulations have on those companies,” said Undersecretary Anthony.  “These updated regulations feature a fair balance between consumer protections and business realities.”

The new rules are slated to take effect next March.  The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations will hold a public hearing on the changes on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at 10 a.m. at the Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston.

For more information about identity theft protection in Massachusetts, please visit the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation website,

— Kate Reichert, Regulatory and Legislative Counsel

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