Government Privacy Legislation in the State of Maryland

Government Privacy Legislation in the State of Maryland

Md. Gen. Prov. Code § 4-501 is a data protection and personal privacy law that was enacted in the U.S. state of Maryland in 2005. More specifically, the law was passed for the purpose of protecting the personal records that residents of the state submit to state agencies and organizations when looking to take advantage of state-based programs, services, and facilities. With all this being said, the law outlines the circumstances under which state-based and government organizations within Maryland are permitted to collect the personal records of citizens within the state, as well as the steps and procedures that must be followed in order to ensure that this information remains confidential.

What are the data protection requirements under the law?

The provisions of Md. Gen. Prov. Code § 4-501 mandates that officials within governmental and state-based organizations, described as “official custodians” under the law, follow a strict protocol as it concerns safeguarding the various personal records that residents of the state submit to public bodies when looking to engage in certain services and activities. This protocol entails the following:

What’s more, government and state-based organizations and agencies that maintain personal records concerning residents within the state of Maryland are also responsible for submitting an annual report to the Maryland Secretary of General Services. This annual report must contain information including but not limited to:

What data elements are protected under the law?

Md. Gen. Prov. Code § 4-501 outlines several categories of personal information that may be contained in personal records that may pertain to citizens of the state that are legally protected under the law. To his point, some of the data elements concerning Maryland residents that are protected under the provisions of the law include:

Personal records and redaction

As government agencies within Maryland will undoubtedly be charged with maintaining and securing the personal records of thousands of residents across the state, ensuring that this information remains secure can prove to be extremely difficult. To this end, one method that can be used to safeguard personal data is automatic redaction software. By using such software, government agencies can ensure that the personal information of their citizenship is protected from harm or misuse, as these software programs allow users to render personal information inaccessible to the general public. In this way, government agencies within Maryland can prevent the personal data of Maryland residents from becoming compromised.

While many people within the U.S. think about personal privacy in the context of personal data they submit to other individuals when shopping online or making purchases, the personal information that American citizens provide to their local governments can also be used for nefarious purposes. As such, Md. Gen. Prov. Code § 4-501 protects the personal records of citizens within the state, ensuring that strict regulations are adhered to when the information contained within such records is collected, stored, or transmitted. In this way, residents within the state of Maryland can have the peace of mind that their information is being protected by their local governments and state-based institutions.

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