Massachusetts law about identity theft

A compilation of laws, regulations, cases, and web sources on identity theft law.

Best bet

ID Theft: The US Government's Central Website for Information About Identity Theft Federal Trade Commission
Includes detailed information for consumers on what to do if you're a victim, as well as information for businesses and law enforcement

Massachusetts laws

MGL c.93H Security Breaches
Enacted in 2007. Mandates reporting of personal data breaches, disposal of personal information, and gives the consumer the ability to place a security freeze on their credit reports.

MGL c.266, s. 37E
Use of personal identification of another; identity fraud; penalty; restitution

Massachusetts regulations

201 CMR 16 Placing, lifting and removal of security freezes

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

940 CMR 27 Safeguard of personal information

Massachusetts Executive Orders

EO 504: Order regarding the security and confidentiality of personal information

Massachusetts rules

Supreme Judicial Court Rule 1:24: Protection of Personal Identifying Information in Publicly Accessible Court Documents

Federal laws and regulations

Federal laws

Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA), Pub. L. 108-159, 111 Stat. 1952
Highlights of the law include: 1) requirement that the 3 major credit reporting agencies provide consumers with a free copy of their own credit report every 12 months, 2) National Fraud Alert System through which consumers who suspect fraud can place an alert on their credit files and 3) requirement that account numbers on credit card receipts be truncated so that those who may have access to the receipts do not have access to consumers' names and full credit card numbers.

Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998, Pub. L. 105-318, 112 Stat. 3007, Federal Trade Commission 
Provides access to full text of the federal law

Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act, Pub. L. 108-275, 118 Stat. 831, July 2004 
Federal law that increases penalty for certain types of identity theft

Federal regulations

16 CFR 682.3, Disposal of Consumer Report Information and Records
Regulations promulgated under FACTA on proper disposal of consumer information

Identity Theft Red Flags and Address Discrepancies Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003; Final Rule, November 9, 2007 
Changes affect several CFR sections. For a current version of the regulations, see the eCFR.

Web sources

201 CMR 17 Compliance Checklist, Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
"a useful tool to aid in the development of a written information security program for a small business or individual that handles "personal information." Each item, presented in question form, highlights a feature of 201 CMR 17.00 that will require proactive attention in order for a plan to be compliant."

Attorney General's Guide on Identity Theft for Victims and Consumers, Mass. Attorney General
Includes tips for avoiding identity theft and what to do if it happens to you

Authentication in an Internet Banking Environment, Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council 
Guidance requires increased security for online banks, beginning in 2006. Financial institutions are free to design their own security systems that meet these guidelines.

Identity Theft, Executive Office of Public Safety and Security
Provides basic information in the following areas: What is identity theft?, How significant is the problem?, How is it committed?, How can you avoid becoming a victim? and What should you do if you are a victim?

Identity theft: A recovery plan, Federal Trade Commission, September 2016.
Explains steps to take if you believe you are a victim of identity theft

The federal government’s 1–stop resource for victims. On the site, you can report and put together a plan to recover from identity theft.

Massachusetts Amends Strict Privacy Law (Again), Compliance Building, Aug. 18, 2009
Outlines latest proposed amendments to 201 CMR 17

Surviving Theft of Financial Identity, Mass. Office of Consumer Affairs
What to do when it happens to you

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding 201 CMR 17, Mass. Office of Consumer Affairs
Very basic information about the regulations in a question and answer format.

Data Security and Identity Theft, MCLE, 2009

Data Security and Privacy in Massachusetts, MCLE, 2015

Identity Theft - Consumer View, MCLE, 2014

Last update: February 6, 2018


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