Massachusetts Governor Contemplates Vaccine Passport Mandate

November 2021

According to a report from The Hill, Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican from Massachusetts, has expressed his consideration for implementing vaccine passport requirements for state residents. Baker mentioned that he has been collaborating with officials from various other states to develop a universal QR code system for verifying individuals' COVID-19 vaccination status. The aim is to create a single QR code that can be utilized for a range of purposes where vaccine mandates may be necessary. The Privacy Advisor, written by IAPP Staff Writer Jennifer Bryant, delved into the topic of vaccine passports in an editor's note.

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New Ordinance Requires Boston City Council Approval for Surveillance Technology

October 2021

According to The Boston Globe, the Boston City Council has enacted a law mandating that all funds, acquisitions, or utilization of surveillance technology, including any new or updated usage by law enforcement, must receive approval from the council. Michelle Wu, the bill's sponsor and a mayoral candidate, emphasized the necessity of implementing clear safeguards to ensure transparent deployment of surveillance technologies by the city, along with public accountability and democratic oversight. Furthermore, the ordinance specifies that only school safety specialists are permitted to collect or share information about Boston students in cases involving criminal behavior.

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Massachusetts Law Safeguards Personal Transit Data Against Warrantless Searches

January 2021

According to the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Massachusetts has recently implemented a law that prohibits warrantless searches of personal transit data. The law stipulates that transit authorities are not allowed to disclose an individual's personal transit data for reasons unrelated to transit. Additionally, law enforcement agencies must obtain a search warrant before accessing any personal data associated with transit records. This legislation aims to protect the privacy of individuals and ensure proper legal oversight in accessing such information.

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Massachusetts Governor Rejects Police Reform Bill's Facial Recognition Moratorium

December 2020

According to Reuters, Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican from Massachusetts, has returned a police reform bill to the state Legislature, expressing his opposition to a proposed moratorium on facial recognition technology. The bill, previously endorsed by lawmakers, includes provisions for the creation of an independent commission responsible for officer certification and decertification, misconduct investigations, and training. Governor Baker cited concerns about specific provisions that he believes may hinder effective administration and compromise public safety, leading him to withhold support for those particular measures.

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Massachusetts Attorney General Establishes Data Privacy and Security Division

August 2020

In a move highlighting the increasing importance of data privacy and security, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has created the Data Privacy and Security Division, with Sara Cable, CIPP/US, appointed as its chief. Cable acknowledges the extensive work that lies ahead in this field, emphasizing the growing recognition that our lives are now intertwined with the online realm, making the protection of privacy and data more critical than ever before. Cable also emphasizes the ever-changing nature of this domain, prompting the need for dedicated efforts in safeguarding individuals' information.

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Massachusetts Senate Approves Data Breach Protection Bill

May 2018

According to SC Media, the Massachusetts Senate has unanimously passed a data breach protection bill aimed at providing consumers with enhanced safeguards in the event of a breach affecting consumer credit reporting agencies. The bill includes provisions such as requiring credit reporting agencies to offer a minimum of five years of credit monitoring services to affected consumers, enabling consumers to freeze and unfreeze their credit without any charges, and ensuring that individuals retain the right to pursue legal action if their Social Security numbers are exposed in a breach. As a similar bill has recently been passed by the House of Representatives, the two pieces of legislation will need to be reconciled before reaching the governor's desk.

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Interview with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey

August 2016

Attorney General Maura Healey has been serving in her role in Massachusetts since January 2015. With the state at the forefront of data privacy regulations and enforcement, particularly since the enactment of its security breach notification law in 2007, Healey's office has been actively engaged in upholding robust information security programs and computer system requirements. Prior to assuming her current position, Healey held various roles within the attorney general's office, including Chief of the Public Protection & Advocacy Bureau and Chief of the Business and Labor Bureau. She also has experience as a special assistant district attorney and in private practice. In an interview with The Privacy Advisor by IAPP, Healey discusses her efforts in combatting privacy violations in the healthcare sector and shares insights on the future of enforcement in our data-driven economy.

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