FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: State Rep. Natalie Higgins, Natalie.Higgins@mahouse.gov, 978-602-3772
Legislature Passes New Data Breach Protections for Consumers
Provisions increase transparency, improve credit monitoring and provide better consumer notifications
July 27, 2018 (BOSTON) – Representative Natalie Higgins (D-Leominster) joined her colleagues in the House and Senate to announce legislation enhancing protections for consumers against data breaches.
The bill includes provisions that make it easier for consumers to monitor their credit, request security freezes on data, limit fees associated with data breach protections as well as requires transparency from breached companies and their affiliates.
The bill requires breached entities to provide more detailed consumer notifications about data breaches and options to help consumers better protect themselves.
“This bill ensures that Massachusetts residents will have the right to more control over their personal data, and will provide essential protections for consumers,” said Senate President Emerita Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester). “I believe that with this bill, Massachusetts establishes itself as a model for the rest of the country, and I thank our partners in the House for their work on this vital legislation.”
“This bill empowers consumers to take charge of monitoring their credit and to protect their personal data against harmful data breaches,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, (D-Winthrop). “We have taken important steps to protect privacy and increase the requirements for transparency by those entities that are breached. Thank you to Representatives Chan and Benson and our colleagues in the House and Senate for their work on these important issues.”
“We are proud to have Massachusetts continue to lead in providing comprehensive consumer protections in cases of security breaches,” said Representative Tackey Chan (D-Quincy), Chair of the Committee on Consumer Protection. “Each of us entrust our information to others to protect and this legislation gives consumers new resources and greater awareness of the tools they can take advantage of to protect their credit. Through the dedicated efforts of the entire committee and conference members, we were able to work through a very comprehensive bill involving federal and state regulations and are extremely proud of the legislation passed today.”
“As an advocate for consumer protection, I filed legislation last year to make it easier for victims of identity theft to freeze their credit reports,” said Representative Jennifer Benson (D-Lunenburg). “In the wake of the Equifax breach, I worked with the Attorney General and advocates to strengthen the bill with further protections. Consumers in Massachusetts will now be empowered to take control of their credit data, and they’ll have more tools at their disposal to help them recover more quickly from data breaches.”
Highlights of the legislation include:
The bill now moves to the Governor for his consideration.