Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010
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News from the Courts

Supreme Judicial Court issues order regarding protection of personal information

The Supreme Judicial Court has issued an order regarding safeguarding certain nonpublic personal information collected and maintained in the judicial branch. The order, issued under G.L.c. 93H, governs the security and confidentiality of personal information as defined in that statute. The personal information covered by the order does not include publicly available information.

The order requires the Trial Court, the Appellate Courts and court affiliates to develop, implement and maintain written information security programs applicable to records containing personal information. The security programs are to ensure that courts collect the minimum personal information needed to accomplish the purpose for which the information is collected; securely protect the information from unauthorized access and disclosure; provide access to the information only as necessary; and destroy the information when it is no longer needed. The security programs will require notification to the appropriate Chief Justice of any breach of security of personal information.

Additionally, the order requires courts to review the type of personal information collected with the goal of identifying any that need not be collected or maintained. Contractors will be required to comply with the provisions of all information security programs that apply to the work they will be performing.

Click here to view the order requiring that the security programs be in place by Sept. 1.



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