Executive Order

Executive Order  No. 111: Fair information practices

Date: 10/11/1974
Issuer: Francis W. Sargent

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, In our increasingly complex society the rights of privacy of our citizens are increasingly threatened;

WHEREAS, Agencies of state government are collecting vast amounts of sensitive personal data which, if improperly disseminated, could prove damaging to the persons whose data are maintained by such agencies;

WHEREAS, Agencies of state government should collect, maintain, and disseminate personal data in a manner which will be protective of the privacy rights of persons;

NOW THEREFORE, I, Francis W. Sargent, Governor of the Commonwealth, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Supreme Executive Magistrate, do hereby order as follows:

1. Each person requested by an agency to supply personal data that is not for strictly statistical purposes shall have the following rights in relation to such request:

(a) he shall be informed by such agency at the time he is first requested to supply such data of the intended uses of such data; and

(b) he shall be informed at such time whether he is legally required so to supply such data and of any legal consequences which may arise from his refusing so to supply such data.

2. Each person shall have also the following rights:

(a) he shall be informed, upon request to any agency, whether such agency maintains any personal data concerning him and, if so, upon additional request, he shall be given an opportunity to view such data unless doing so would be contrary to statute; and

(b) he may challenge the accuracy, completeness, or mode of maintenance or dissemination of any personal data concerning him maintained by any agency; and if any due correction in or addition to the contents or any due modification in procedures for maintenance or dissemination are not made within thirty days after such challenge he may have maintained and disseminated with such data a statement of his views concerning the accuracy, completeness, or mode of maintenance or dissemination of such data.

3. Each agency shall collect, maintain, and disseminate personal data only in a manner consistent with the following principles:

(a) no such agency shall collect any personal data other than that necessary for the performance of its functions authorized by law;

(b) each such agency shall designate one officer to be in charge of its personal data system, and such officer shall secure to all persons the rights provided by this Order,

(c) no such agency shall use personal data collected for one purpose for another unrelated purpose without the consent or knowledge of the data subject;

(d) each such agency shall establish written procedures for insuring that personal data are collected and maintained in a secure manner and are not disseminated in a manner which will threaten the personal privacy rights of any data subject;

(e) each such agency which disseminates personal data shall give to the recipient thereof copies of this Order, relevant statutes and regulations, and any written policy directives relating to the use of such data by such recipient and shall take reasonable steps to assure that such data are used only in accordance with such directives; and

(f) any such agency may computerize any personal data which it maintains, but only after identifying all reasonably foreseeable threats to the security of such data posed by such computerization and after taking all feasible measures, including but not limited to training of personnel in computer operation and policies and procedures of data maintenance and dissemination, to avoid or minimize such threats.

4. Within ninety days after the effective date of this Order, the Secretary of Administration shall adopt regulations to implement the provisions and purposes of this order, which regulations shall provide for a method of administrative appeal by citizens aggrieved by the action of any agency and for administrative sanctions which may be imposed against any state employee who violates any provisions of this Order.

5. For the purposes of this Order, the word "agency" shall mean each agency within the Executive Department of the government of the Commonwealth except criminal justice agencies as defined in section 167 of chapter 6 of the General Laws.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this eleventh day of October in the year of our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy-Four and of the independence of the United States of America the One Hundred Ninety-Ninth.



Commonwealth of Massachusetts


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