Michigan Privacy laws & HR compliance analysis

Michigan Privacy: What you need to know

Michigan recognizes the common-law tort for invasion of privacy, which provides that one who invades the right of privacy of another is subject to liability for the resulting harm to the interests of the other person.
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The right of privacy is invaded by:
• Unreasonable intrusion upon the seclusion of others;
• Appropriating another's name or likeness;
• Giving unreasonable publicity to another's private life; or
• Using publicity that unreasonably places another in a false light before the public (Doe v. Mills, 536 N.W.2d 824 (Mich. App. 1995)).
Social Security numbers (SSNs). Michigan's Social Security Number Privacy Act prohibits the “public display” of more than four sequential digits of the SSN of an employee, student, or other individual on an account. Additionally, the Act bars a person from visibly printing more than four sequential digits of an SSN on any identification badge or card, membership card, permit, or license. An individual also cannot be required to transmit more than four sequential digits of his or her SSN over the Internet or a computer system or network or to gain access to an Internet website unless encryption and other security measures are taken. The Act further prohibits displaying more than four sequential digits of an individual’s SSN on any document mailed to a person, except in certain narrowly defined circumstances.
Additionally, the Act requires employers to adopt a policy to protect the confidentiality of employee SSNs (Mich. Comp. Laws § 445.81 et seq.). The law requires employers, and any other entity that collects SSNs of more than one individual in the ordinary course of business, to establish a policy that:
• Ensures the ...

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