Massachusetts law about privacy

Laws, regulations, and web sources on privacy law in general.

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Table of Contents

Massachusetts laws

MGL c. 93H Security breaches

MGL c. 214, § 1B Right of privacy

MGL c. 271, § 51 Taking or transmitting images of crime victims by first responders prohibited without consent

MGL c. 272, § 99 Interception of wire and oral communications

MGL c. 272, § 105 Photographing, videotaping or electronically surveilling partially nude or nude person or the sexual or other intimate parts of a person around the person's clothing; exceptions; punishment

Massachusetts regulations

201 CMR 17 Standards for the protection of personal information of residents of the commonwealth

205 CMR 257 Sports wagering data privacy

940 CMR 27 Safeguard of personal information

Court rules and orders

Selected cases

Adrian Bignami and Petra Bignami v. Miguel Serrano and Marisa Serrano, MISC 18-000323 (2020)
Audio and video surveillance of the shared driveway is prohibited and permanently enjoined.

Commonwealth v. Carrasquillo, 489 Mass 107 (2022)
Defendant did not have a subjective expectation of privacy in video he posted on social media “snap” account that included undercover officer as a friend.

Commonwealth v. Rainey, 491 Mass. 632 (2023)
The use of the body-worn police camera footage as evidence at the defendant's probation violation proceeding did not violate Massachusetts' wiretap statute MGL c.272, § 99.

Commonwealth v. LePore, 40 Mass. App. Ct. 543 (1996)
The Appeals Court, Kass, J., held that: (1) statute proscribing disorderly conduct may lawfully be applied to “Peeping Tom”; (2) evidence of voyeurism was sufficient to support conviction.

Commonwealth v. Cooper, 100 Mass. App. Ct. 345 (2021)
Voyeuristic behavior created physically offensive condition, supporting conviction for being a disorderly person.

Commonwealth v. Wassilie, 482 Mass. 562 (2019)
Discussion on history of legislation regarding "upskirting."

Polay v. McMahon, 468 Mass 379 (2014) 
Neighbor pointing video camera at another neighbor’s property may be an intrusion of privacy.

Web sources

Advisory on the application of the Commonwealth’s consumer protection, civil rights, and data privacy laws to artificial intelligence, Mass. Attorney General, 2024.
Advisory clarifies that AI developers, suppliers, and users must comply with existing state consumer protection, anti-discrimination, and data privacy laws.

Can you put a surveillance camera in a nursing home room?, ElderLawAnswers, 2018.

Impoundment procedures in the Massachusetts appellate courts: an introduction, Mass. Appeals Court, 2012.
A guide to impoundment procedures including a general overview of governing authorities and some practical tips.

Impoundment sources: list of authorities designating material as impounded, confidential, or not available for public inspection, Mass. Appeals Court, June 2015.
"The following list is an overview of the material that a statute, court rule, or standing order designates must be withheld as “impounded,” “withheld from public inspection,” “not available for public inspection,” “confidential,” “segregated,” or “sealed.”"

Privacy and security, Federal Trade Commission.
Includes links to a wide variety of financial privacy sources, including the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

Security cameras vs. right of privacy, Goldman and Pease.
Discusses privacy issues with security cameras in a condo building. 

Print sources

Civil causes of action in Massachusetts, MCLE 2nd edition, 2012, Chapter 16 Invasion of privacy.

Cybersecurity law, West Academic Publishing, 2022.

Data security and privacy in Massachusetts, 3rd ed., MCLE, 2021.

Drone law, Thomson Reuters, Annual, Chapter 34, Invasion of privacy.

How personal information is collected, sold & used, MCLE, 2021.

Massachusetts Superior Court civil practice jury instructions, 3rd ed., MCLE, loose-leaf. Chapter 7, Invasion of privacy.

Massachusetts tort law manual, MCLE , 2017 with supplement, Chapter 14, Invasion of privacy.

Outwitting smartphone privacy pitfalls, MCLE, 2022.

Summary of basic law, 5th ed. 2014, with supplement (Mass Practice v.14D) Thomson Reuters, Chapter 16 Torts; Dignitary Torts; A. Invasion of Privacy.

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Last updated: May 6, 2024

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