Businesses Take Note: Updates to Maryland’s Data Breach Notification Law Take Effect January 1, 2018

by Pessin Katz Law, P.A.

Pessin Katz Law, P.A.

What are businesses required to do when personal information they have collected is breached?  Most states have breach notification laws with varying degrees of security and notice requirements.  With high profile data breaches continuing to top headlines, legislators are beginning to make these laws more strict. 

Maryland’s legislature is no exception.  On January 1, 2018, several amendments to the Maryland Personal Information Protection Act, (“MPIPA”) MD Code Ann., Com. Law §14-3501 et seq. will go into effect.  Businesses collecting personal information should take note and be prepared. 

Under the law as amended, the definition of “personal information” under §14-3501 has been greatly expanded. The current definition includes information such as first and last name, social security number, driver’s license numbers, and bank account numbers/ passwords. However, in light of amendments to the law, the definition of “personal information” will be more expansive and will also include the following:

  • passport numbers
  • health insurance policy numbers
  • fingerprints/ retina scans or other biometric data
  • any mental or physical health information (generally anything covered by HIPAA)
  • usernames/passwords that give access to a person’s e-mail address

In addition, changes have been made to allow notification of a data breach to be made within a set period of time.  Section 14-3504(b) of MPIPA currently requires that a business conduct in good faith a reasonable and prompt investigation to determine the likelihood that personal information of the party has been or will be misused as a result of that breach.  Should the business determine it is reasonably likely the information has been or will be misused, the law currently requires the business to notify the party “as soon as reasonably practicable.”  The law, as amended, will require a business to notify the party owning the data no later than forty-five (45) days after the conclusion of any investigation conducted by the business in which it determined the breach has created a likelihood that the personal information has been or will be misused.  Although not required in MPIPA, businesses should also be sure to provide prompt notice of any data breach to their insurance carrier.

Also, in light of the addition of usernames/passwords giving access to a person’s e-mail address to what is considered personal information under MPIPA, changes have been made under MPIPA to allow businesses to provide alternative notice in certain circumstances.  As the law currently stands, §14-3504(e) generally requires that notice of a data breach be given by written notice sent to the most recent address on record, by telephone, or by e-mail if the business has expressly consented or primarily conducts business through the internet.  However, under §14-3504(i) as amended, in the event of a data breach involving only personal information regarding a person’s e-mail address/password, a business may comply with MPIPA by providing notification in electronic or other form that directs the party whose personal information has been breached promptly to change their usernames, passwords, or security questions or take other appropriate steps to protect the e-mail account.  It should be noted that, generally, such notification cannot be given to the party by sending notification by e-mail to the e-mail account affected by the breach.  That said, however, such notification “may be given by a clear and conspicuous notice delivered to the party online while the party is connected to the affected e-mail account from an internet protocol address or online location from which the business knows the individual customarily accesses the account.”

Lastly, changes will occur to §14-3502 of MPIPA. This section currently governs the destruction of records and currently requires that when a business destroys a customer’s records that contain covered personal information, it must take reasonable steps to protect against unauthorized access or use of that information by others. The entity must take into account: (1) the sensitivity of the records, (2) the nature and size of the business and operations, (3) the costs and benefits of different destruction methods, and (4) available technology.  Under the law, as amended, businesses will be required to also take reasonable care to protect an employee’s or former employee’s personal information.  Importantly, this amendment expands the scope of this section outside the realm of consumer protection alone to include protection of employees.

Data breach security and notification laws in Maryland and throughout the country are evolving and will continue to do so.  It should be noted that the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) recent passage of the Insurance Data Security Model Law will provide many states with guidance on specific security measure requirements.  Accordingly, it is of paramount importance that businesses keep abreast of compliance and notification requirements in this area.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Pessin Katz Law, P.A. | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Pessin Katz Law, P.A.

Pessin Katz Law, P.A. on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.