Massachusetts law about privacy

A compilation of laws, regulations, and web sources on privacy law in general. See "Related," below, for more specific types of privacy law.

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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 272, § 99 Interception of wire and oral communications

MGL 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

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

Commonwealth v. Sam C. 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

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

Cybersecurity law, West Academic Publishing, 2022.

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

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.

Summary of basic law, (Mass Practice v.14D) Thomson Reuters, 2014 with supplement. Chapter 16 Torts; IX. Dignitary Torts; A. Invasion of Privacy.
The author gives an excellent discussion of the topic with multiple citations to cases.

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Last updated: October 31, 2022
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