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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XV REGULATION OF TRADE
  • CHAPTER 93H SECURITY BREACHES
  • Section 3 Duty to report known security breach or unauthorized use of personal information

Section 3. (a) A person or agency that maintains or stores, but does not own or license data that includes personal information about a resident of the commonwealth, shall provide notice, as soon as practicable and without unreasonable delay, when such person or agency (1) knows or has reason to know of a breach of security or (2) when the person or agency knows or has reason to know that the personal information of such resident was acquired or used by an unauthorized person or used for an unauthorized purpose, to the owner or licensor in accordance with this chapter. In addition to providing notice as provided herein, such person or agency shall cooperate with the owner or licensor of such information. Such cooperation shall include, but not be limited to, informing the owner or licensor of the breach of security or unauthorized acquisition or use, the date or approximate date of such incident and the nature thereof, and any steps the person or agency has taken or plans to take relating to the incident, except that such cooperation shall not be deemed to require the disclosure of confidential business information or trade secrets, or to provide notice to a resident that may have been affected by the breach of security or unauthorized acquisition or use. (b) A person or agency that owns or licenses data that includes personal information about a resident of the commonwealth, shall provide notice, as soon as practicable and without unreasonable delay, when such person or agency (1) knows or has reason to know of a breach of security or (2) when the person or agency knows or has reason to know that the personal information of such resident was acquired or used by an unauthorized person or used for an unauthorized purpose, to the attorney general, the director of consumer affairs and business regulation and to such resident, in accordance with this chapter. The notice to be provided to the attorney general and said director, and consumer reporting agencies or state agencies if any, shall include, but not be limited to, the nature of the breach of security or unauthorized acquisition or use, the number of residents of the commonwealth affected by such incident at the time of notification, and any steps the person or agency has taken or plans to take relating to the incident.

Upon receipt of this notice, the director of consumer affairs and business regulation shall identify any relevant consumer reporting agency or state agency, as deemed appropriate by said director, and forward the names of the identified consumer reporting agencies and state agencies to the notifying person or agency. Such person or agency shall, as soon as practicable and without unreasonable delay, also provide notice, in accordance with this chapter, to the consumer reporting agencies and state agencies identified by the director of consumer affairs and business regulation.

The notice to be provided to the resident shall include, but not be limited to, the consumer’s right to obtain a police report, how a consumer requests a security freeze and the necessary information to be provided when requesting the security freeze, and any fees required to be paid to any of the consumer reporting agencies, provided however, that said notification shall not include the nature of the breach or unauthorized acquisition or use or the number of residents of the commonwealth affected by said breach or unauthorized access or use.

(c) If an agency is within the executive department, it shall provide written notification of the nature and circumstances of the breach or unauthorized acquisition or use to the information technology division and the division of public records as soon as practicable and without unreasonable delay following the discovery of a breach of security or unauthorized acquisition or use, and shall comply with all policies and procedures adopted by that division pertaining to the reporting and investigation of such an incident.