The Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General has created a new Data Privacy and Security Division. This Division is charged with protecting consumers from the threats to the privacy and security of their data. The Attorney General, Maura Healey, announced “The Data Privacy and Security Division will build on our office’s commitment to empowering Massachusetts consumers in the digital economy, ensuring that companies are protecting personal data, and promoting equal and open access to the internet.”

Attorney General Healey announced that the Data Privacy and Security Division will “investigate and enforce the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act and Data Breach Law to protect the security and privacy of consumers’ data.” This new Data Privacy and Security Division is the latest development in increasing efforts by Massachusetts officials to address cybersecurity concerns. In the Fall of 2019, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker introduced an expansive cybersecurity program, including statewide workshops for municipalities to work together to enhance their cybersecurity capabilities.

Notably, last Spring, Massachusetts updated its data breach notification law with changes that are likely to create opportunities for enforcement by the division. In particular, the new law expanded the content requirements for notifications to the Attorney General and Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) to include, among other things, whether the business that experienced the breach maintains a written information security program (WISP) and whether they have updated the WISP.  Employers maintaining personal information of Massachusetts residents should revisit their incident response plan (or develop one).

Employers operating in Massachusetts or holding data on Massachusetts residents should be aware of the focus that Governor Baker and Attorney General Healey have placed on cybersecurity. These Massachusetts programs highlight the importance of conducting risk assessments to identify and address potential vulnerabilities to hackers as well as security risks created by employees and contractors.

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Photo of Michael R. Bertoncini Michael R. Bertoncini

Michael R. Bertoncini is a Principal in the Boston, Massachusetts, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He practices labor and employment law, with a particular emphasis on labor relations, employment law counseling and litigation, and data privacy and security law.

In labor relations matters…

Michael R. Bertoncini is a Principal in the Boston, Massachusetts, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He practices labor and employment law, with a particular emphasis on labor relations, employment law counseling and litigation, and data privacy and security law.

In labor relations matters, he regularly counsels clients on the practice of positive employee relations, negotiates collective bargaining agreements on behalf of organized clients, represents clients in labor arbitrations and National Labor Relations Board proceedings, and counsels clients with respect to rights and obligations under collective bargaining agreements and applicable labor and employment laws. He also has extensive experience in advising organizations responding to corporate campaigns and negotiating neutrality agreements.

Mr. Bertoncini’s privacy and data security practice focuses on advising clients on complying with HIPAA and other state and federal privacy and data security laws. He regularly reviews and develops policies and procedures, written information security plans and integrated compliance programs to assist clients in meeting their obligations under privacy and data security laws. Mr. Bertoncini has represented clients in investigations of alleged data breaches and advises them on their reporting obligations in the event of a data breach. He also conducts workplace training programs on HIPAA compliance and related privacy and data security topics.

Before joining Jackson Lewis, Mr. Bertoncini was Deputy General Counsel for a hospital system that is the largest fully integrated community care organization in New England. He was responsible for all of the system’s labor and employment law matters, and was involved in its acquisition by a private equity firm as well as its growth from six to ten hospitals in a twelve-month period. His three years as in-house counsel for this large health care system give Mr. Bertoncini a keen understanding of the impact of labor and employment law issues on clients’ business operations.

In addition to his labor relations and privacy experience, Mr. Bertoncini has extensive experience in conducting internal investigations and counseling clients on whistleblower and retaliation matters, as well as negotiating executive agreements, both employment and separation agreements. Mr. Bertoncini also represents clients in the litigation of employment matters. His litigation experience includes matters before federal and state courts and administrative agencies. He has appeared before United States Courts of Appeals and District Courts, Massachusetts and New York state courts, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

Mr. Bertoncini is a frequent speaker and trainer on labor and employment law topics for various organizations including Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Council on Education in Management, Lorman Education Services, the Boston Bar Association, and several chambers of commerce.

While attending Boston College, he received the John A. McCarthy, SJ Award for the most distinguished Scholar of the College thesis.