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Massachusetts: Bill on biometric data introduced to State Senate

Senate Docket 195 for an Act to Protect Personal Biometric Data was introduced, on 16 February 2023, to the Massachusetts Senate and thereafter referred, on the same date, to the Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee. In particular, the bill would provide definitions such as 'Biometric identifier' and 'Biometric information', and impose obligations on organisation in possession of biometric identifiers or biometric information such as:

  • developing a written policy, made available to the person from whom biometric information is to be collected or was collected; and
  • establishing a retention schedule and guidelines for permanently destroying biometric identifiers and biometric information when the initial purpose for collecting or obtaining such identifiers or information has been satisfied or within one year of the individual's last interaction with the private entity, whichever occurs first.

Moreover, the bill would establish that organisations shall not collect, capture, purchase, receive through trade, or otherwise obtain a person or a customer's biometric identifier or biometric information, unless they first: 

  • inform the subject or the subject's legally authorised representative in writing that a biometric identifier or biometric information is being collected or stored; 
  • inform the subject or the subject's legally authorised representative in writing of the specific purpose and length of term for which a biometric identifier or biometric information is being collected, stored, and used; and
  • receives written consent executed by the subject of the biometric identifier or biometric information, or the subject's legally authorised representative.

You can read the bill here and track its progress here.

UPDATE (12 April 2023)

Bill discharged to another Committee

The bill was discharged, on 6 April 2023, to the Committee on Advanced Information Technology, the Internet, and Cybersecurity.

You can read the bill here and track its progress here.

UPDATE (24 April 2024)

Bill referred to Committee on Ways and Means

The bill was referred, on 16 April 2024, to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, after it was reported favorably by the Committee on Advanced Information Technology, the Internet, and Cybersecurity.

You can read the bill here and track its progress here.