An overview of MACo’s advocacy on information technology issues in the 2019 General Assembly.
Information technology is a growing area of importance for MACo as county governments rely on computer systems of increasing sophistication for a widening scope of operations — including public safety applications, open government portals, billing functions, and emergency alerts systems used during major natural and man-made emergencies. As county use of information technology evolves, cybersecurity and protection of resident data rise in importance.
Follow links below for more coverage on Conduit Street and MACo’s Legislative Database.
MACo opposed a costly new mandate to require county and municipal governments to conform data protection processes to enumerated federal categorization and data sharing rules. MACo stated that counties already prioritize protection of personal information in their security plans, and the one-size-fits-all approach of this bill would create significant costs and operational issues, including complicating routine and necessary inter-departmental data sharing. Ultimately, the Maryland Data Privacy Act passed the House of Delegates with amendments, and passed the Senate with different amendments. The Senate’s amendments conformed to MACo’s advocacy, but the House refused to recede its version and the bill ultimately died.
MACo expects this topic to return in legislation in the 2020 General Assembly Session. In the meantime, MACo is planning a meeting on cybersecurity with Maryland’s County Information Technology Directors and County 9-1-1 Center Directors and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security this May. At the Summer Conference, MACo will offer educational programming on the topic of personal information protection throughout government department functions.
For more on information technology legislation tracked by MACo during the 2019 legislative session, click here.