Where Is New Hampshire Going With Cybersecurity And Privacy? – Privacy Protection | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

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Originally Published by Business New Hampshire

The privacy and security of personal information is a critical
societal and business issue. Individuals are rightfully interested
in managing their personal information. Businesses are rightfully
interested in using the information that they invest in collecting
to serve consumers and generate revenue to pay employees and
compensate owners. A primary purpose of cybersecurity and privacy
regulations is to appropriately balance those interests. Where is
New Hampshire with respect to such regulations? The answer is that
our state is ‘on hold.’

States like Massachusetts, New York and California, and
industries like healthcare, banking and financial services, have
adopted regulations that require businesses to identify risks and
implement reasonable technological, physical and administrative
safeguards to protect sensitive personal information. While those
types of cybersecurity regulations have existed for over a decade,
New Hampshire never adopted them.

About five years ago, a number of western countries, like the
European Union, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia, started
implementing regulations that give individuals privacy rights with
respect to their personal information. States like California,
Connecticut, Virginia, Colorado, and a growing number of others
followed suit.

The New Hampshire legislature introduced such regulations this
session. Our legislation is modelled on existing laws in other
states. Thus, its language was vetted by advocates for consumers,
industry, and the technology sector, and its passage would mitigate
the risk that multi-state businesses may be subject to different or
conflicting regulations.

If adopted, New Hampshire residents would enjoy the following
privacy rights.

  • Right to be informed about how personal information is
    collected, used and disclosed

  • Right to access and obtain a copy of personal information

  • Right to correct personal information that is inaccurate

  • Right to limit and opt-out of the collection, use and
    disclosure of personal information

  • Right to request that personal information be deleted

  • Right to not be discriminated against for asserting privacy

New Hampshire’s legislation balances these rights with
fundamental business interests. For example, as long as businesses
provide appropriate notice to individuals, they can collect, use
and disclose personal information for legitimate purposes, such as
to market and sell goods and services to consumers, fulfill their
contractual and other legal obligations to customers, and conduct
other operations. Likewise, businesses that obtain appropriate
consent from individuals can use personal information to conduct
additional activities, such as selling or sharing personal
information with third parties and handling sensitive personal
information. The legislation also provides important guidance to
businesses about their rights with respect to individuals who
assert their privacy rights, and about their obligations with
respect to conducting privacy assessments and implementing
cybersecurity safeguards.

The New Hampshire Senate voted to adopt this legislation in
March 2023. However, in May, the House decided to retain it until
the next legislative session, which starts this fall. As a result,
this critical societal and business issue remains ‘on hold’
in New Hampshire, at least for the moment, with the hope that our
state legislature will again advance the issue later this year.

Cameron G. Shilling, Director, Litigation
Department & Chair of Cybersecurity and Privacy Group.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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