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How will the Massachusetts Data Protection Law affect IT compliance?

The Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation established a significant new regulations in 2008, 201 CMR 17.00: Standards for The Protection of Personal Information. The strict new data protection law was set to take effect on January 1, 2009.

After the shift in the nation’s macroeconomic climate and strong resistance by state business leaders, however, the deadline for compliance with the basic provisions of the law was extended to May 1, 2009.

I’ll be traveling to Waltham to try to livestream the state’s public hearings on the legislation. Assuming that no technical difficulties occur in our use of, you’ll be able to watch a webcast of the proceedings and ask question through the integrated chatroom. An archived version of the event will also be available for on-demand viewing.

We’re also preparing a podcast that will examines the new law from the perspective of a compliance software expert, a security expert and the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation MIS officer. You can expect the podcast to become available later this week.

Dr. John Halamka, CIO of CareGroup Health System and CIO/Dean for Technology at Harvard Medical School, provided some perspective on the relationship of the new MA data protection law to healthcare compliance on his blog.

UPDATE: Due to the expected 4-7″ of snow falling here in Massachusetts, the Greater Boston Network Users Group has cancelled today’s Q&A with David A. Murray, General Counsel and Gerry Young, CIO. Details are posted at the calendar at We’ll update you when the next hearing is scheduled.

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