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MASSPIRG seeks stronger protections against identity theft

Office of Consumer Affairs Proposes Identity Theft Regulations
For Immediate Release

Boston, MA – MASSPIRG urges the Office of Consumer Affairs to strengthen its proposed identity theft regulations.  Identity theft affects approximately 10 million Americans a year, but is a crime that can be prevented.  The proposed regulations were promulgated to give direction to business entities that store personal information.

“These regulations should work to stop identity theft before it happens,” said MASSPIRG Staff Attorney Lizzi Weyant.  “While the regulations are an important step forward in identity theft prevention, as currently written, the new regulations could allow the size of a business, versus the nature and quantity of the personal information collected by the business, to dictate the type of data security plan they must have in place to help prevent identity theft,” said Weyant. 

“We can envision a situation where a small data shop responsible for a significant amount of personal information could use these regulations to make an end-run around the creation of a comprehensive data security plan.” 

Massachusetts currently has some of the most stringent data security laws in the country and has taken great strides in ensuring that consumers are protected from identity theft.  “These regulations need to go one step further to ensure that the Commonwealth maintains top-level protection for residents,” says Weyant.

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