For Immediate Release - March 21, 2012

Property Management Firm to Pay $15,000 in Civil Penalties Following Data Breach

Laptop Containing Personal Information of Over 600 Residents Stolen

BOSTON – A property management firm will pay $15,000 in civil penalties following the theft of a laptop containing the personal information of over 600 Massachusetts residents, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.

“It is incredibly important that businesses ensure that laptops and other technology have the necessary encryption to protect consumers from identity theft,” AG Coakley said. “We will continue to make sure that companies understand their responsibilities under the data privacy laws and are held accountable when they do not adhere to them.”

According to the Assurance of Discontinuance filed in Suffolk Superior Court today, an employee for Maloney Properties, Inc. (“MPI”) had a laptop containing the unencrypted personal information of up to 621 residents stolen from her car during the night. MPI has indicated that it has no evidence that consumers’ personal information has been acquired or used by an unauthorized person or for an unauthorized purpose.

In addition to paying $15,000 in civil penalties, according to the Assurance of Discontinuance, MPI must:

  • ensure that personal information is not unnecessarily stored on portable devices, including laptops;
  • ensure that all personal information stored on portable devices is properly encrypted;
  • ensure that all portable devices containing personal information are stored in a secure location; and
  • effectively train employees on the policies and procedures with respect to maintaining the security of personal information.

This matter was handled by Assistant Attorneys General Sara Cable and Shannon Choy-Seymour of Attorney General Coakley’s Consumer Protection Division.