How Do Maryland Privacy Laws Compare to Other States?

How Do Maryland Privacy Laws Compare to Other States?

Photo by Sora Shimazaki: Pexels

The United States experiences more data breaches than any other country. Due to rising privacy concerns, Maryland has recently updated its laws to protect consumers from cybersecurity threats. But will it be enough? And how are other states in the US reacting to the challenges of data breaches in today’s digital world? 

Maryland’s Personal Information Protection Act

The Personal Information Protection Act of 2008 was enacted to provide Maryland consumers with increased privacy. The law ensures that personal information is reasonably protected from external parties. And if compromised, the individual is notified so they can protect themselves.

Digging a little deeper, the law states how businesses can collect, use, and disclose data – while detailing the rights consumers have to personal information. Since 2008, a series of amendments were passed to increase the security associated with biometric data, in response to a growing number of data breaches.

Maryland updates its privacy law

As of May 2022, Maryland legislation was updated to enact House Bill 962 – providing clarity on various aspects of the Personal Information Protection Act. This update gave data owners and licensors a limited period to report data breaches to affected individuals. This meant that the consumer had more rights over their personal information.

How does this differ in other states?

Maryland privacy laws are yet to be comprehensive, but recent legislation is helping to close the gap between other enacted states. But is it enough? A 2021 consensus saw Maryland rank 17th for data breaches, resulting in losses of over $4.7million. 

Currently, there are five states in the US with comprehensive consumer privacy laws –California, Colorado, Virginia, Connecticut, and Utah. And while Maryland continues to catch up, the remaining 45 states have minimal consumer data protection laws.

That being said, a report from Forbes Advisor recognized California as having the highest amount of privacy breaches in the nation. 

And what does this mean?

With 90% of states having no comprehensive privacy coverage and data breaches affecting even the most protected areas, it’s easy to see why privacy is such a common concern. 

The United States experiences the most data breaches of any country – with 212.4 million users affected in 2021 alone. Even the most comprehensively covered state is dealing with mass-scale security invasion. With data attacks on the rise, protecting your personal data has never been so important.

Are you protecting yourself?

Protecting yourself from security breaches and privacy invasion is necessary in the modern world. Cyberattacks are becoming increasingly common across the nation.

Regardless of your residential state, taking the necessary precautions will help you to keep your data safe. Whether you’re in Maryland or Colorado, legislation will not offer full protection over privacy attacks.

Be sure to store your personal data securely, using two-factor authentication where available. Do not share sensitive information on social media and carefully review cookie policies before accepting them. In addition, it is helpful to see who has gotten a hold of your personal details and opt out from data brokers  to regain control over your personal details. 

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