On November 21, 2014, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced that Boston hospital Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has agreed to a settlement related to a data breach that affected the personal and protected health information of nearly 4,000 patients and employees.
Continue Reading Massachusetts Attorney General Reaches Settlement with Boston Hospital Over Data Security Allegations

On March 11, 2013, in Tyler v. Michaels Stores, Inc., the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court effectively reinstated the suit against the retailer by answering favorably for the plaintiff three certified questions from the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts regarding Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 93, Section 105(a) entitled “Consumer Privacy in Commercial Transactions” (“Section 105(a)”). The court ruled that (1) a ZIP code constitutes personal identification information under the Massachusetts law; (2) a plaintiff may bring an action for a violation of the Massachusetts law absent identity fraud; and (3) the term “credit card transaction form” refers equally to electronic and paper transaction forms. The Massachusetts court’s determination that a ZIP code constitutes personal identification information is similar to the determination in Pineda v. Williams-Sonoma Stores, Inc., in which the California Supreme Court held that ZIP codes are “personal identification information” under California’s Song-Beverly Credit Card Act. More than 15 states, including Massachusetts and California, have statutes limiting the type of information that retailers can collect from customers.
Continue Reading Massachusetts Court Ruling Benefits Plaintiff in Zip Code Case

On January 7, 2013, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced that several Massachusetts medical practices have agreed to a consent judgment and $140,000 payment to settle charges they improperly disposed of medical information at a public waste management facility.
Continue Reading Medical Practices Agree to $140,000 Settlement with Massachusetts Attorney General

On March 21, 2012, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced that Maloney Properties Inc. executed an Assurance of Discontinuance and agreed to pay $15,000 in civil penalties following an October 2011 theft of a company-issued unencrypted laptop.
Continue Reading Massachusetts Attorney General Announces $15,000 Settlement with Property Management Firm

On January 6, 2012, a federal court in Massachusetts dismissed a customer-plaintiff’s complaint alleging that Michaels’ in-store information collection practices violated Massachusetts law. Although the court found that customer ZIP codes may constitute personal information for purposes of the law, it ruled that the plaintiff had failed to demonstrate any cognizable injury.
Continue Reading Massachusetts Court Dismisses ZIP Code Suit for Failure to Allege a Cognizable Injury

On July 29, 2011, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced a settlement with Belmont Savings Bank. The settlement stems from a May 2011 data breach that affected the personal information of more than 13,000 Massachusetts residents.

Continue Reading Massachusetts Attorney General Announces $7,500 Data Breach Settlement with Belmont Savings Bank