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Massachusetts makes data breach reports available online

Massachusetts is making data breach reports available online. (MGN)

Hundreds of data breaches affecting thousands of Massachusetts residents were reported to the state in 2016.

The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation announced on Tuesday that it was making reports of potential identity theft available to the public on its website. Previously those reports could only be accessed by a public records request.

State law requires that any company or other entity that keeps personal information about a Massachusetts resident notify state officials, as well as affected customers, any time that information is compromised -- either by accident or an intentional act.

Data breaches reported in 2016 affected anywhere from a single resident to thousands. The largest number involved breach of credit card numbers, with many also resulting in Social Security numbers or account numbers being exposed.

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