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Data Security Regulations on the Horizon : Panel of Professionals

09/16/2009

As our world goes increasingly digital, data security breaches have made big headlines in the last five years. I’m sure you can list the big chains that have had personal customer information exposed or stolen by hackers. Making headlines is great, but sometimes there is such a thing as bad press.

Am I right to think that it’s every business owners worst nightmare to end up on that list? I thought so.

You are likely getting familiar with the proposed Massachusetts Data Security Regulation (201 CMR 17.00). MAIA has provided information in Flash Bulletins here and here and hosted a widely attended webinar on the topic in June. Most recently, an amendment to change the compliance deadline from January 1, 2010 to March 1, 2010 has been proposed along with several other changes to the original relegation wording. 

Of course, new regulations mean questions!  We all want to know, how does this affects my business? Dan Foley has been fielding the many inquiries about how this affects independent insurance agencies for months now, but this is a good time to remind everyone that MAIA will be hosting a live Panel of Professionals on September 24th at Association Headquarters in Milford. This is a chance to listen and ask questions about compliance requirements.

I listened in on the webinar MAIA hosted in June which was presented by Robert A. Fisher, Esq. of Foley Hoag, LLP.  He did a nice job of explaining the overview of the topic and time was allotted for questions at the end. My personal sense was that the regulations, while perhaps not perfect, sought to keep consumers aware and businesses honest. I might have called it “Data Security for Good Corporate Citizens”.  While the regulations run deeper than this, I felt that the big picture was fairly simple: businesses must alert consumers if a breach occurs and they must have a plan in place to do so.

I am interested to know how our members are planning for these changes. What is your take on the new regulations? I’d love to hear whether agencies are preparing in advance or waiting. Have you taken any steps to be in compliance yet? Do you plan to attend the panel?

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