For Immediate Release - January 28, 2010

Patrick-Murray Administration, which Authored Massachusetts' Groundbreaking Personal Information Security Measures, Recognizes Data Privacy Day 2010

Government officials, businesses and non-profits

BOSTON - In recognition of Data Privacy Day, which is Jan. 28, 2010, the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation is continuing its efforts to support the Patrick-Murray Administration's data security regulations, which take effect March 1.

Officials from the Office are attending a seminar today with high-tech businesses to discuss compliance with the new regulations. Since updated regulations were announced in August 2009, the Office has participated in more than 25 such seminars.

Data Privacy Day is a division of The Privacy Projects, a non-profit think tank and research organization. Sponsors include Google, Microsoft and LexisNexis, and the event includes participation from government officials in states like Arizona and Wisconsin, as well as Massachusetts. In recognition of the day, Governor Patrick signed a proclamation recognizing Jan. 28 as Data Privacy Day.

"In the last two years, over 1 million pieces of Massachusetts residents' personal information has been lost or stolen. That is indicative of a serious problem that affects families all over the Commonwealth," said Barbara Anthony, the Undersecretary of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. "Data Privacy Day is a way for the public and private sector to get together, reinforce the importance of this issue, and work on finding long-term solutions to data theft and loss."

The new regulations that take effect March 1 are part of the identity theft law signed by Governor Patrick, and create a new level of security of the personal information of the state's residents, while also reinforcing compliance flexibility for small businesses. Entities that store or transmit personal information of a Massachusetts resident must create a written security plan that takes into account the business' size and nature, the kind of records maintained, and the risk of theft or loss.

For more information on the new regulations, including Frequently Asked Questions for both consumers and businesses, text of the new regulations, and consumer tips on surviving the theft of financial identity, please visit www.mass.gov/consumer . For more on Data Privacy Day 2010, visit www.dataprivacyday2010.org.