Montana Privacy laws & HR compliance analysis

Montana Privacy: What you need to know

Constitution. The right to privacy is expressly provided by Montana's Constitution (Mont. Const. art. II, § 10). The right of individual privacy is not to be infringed absent a showing of a compelling state interest. The provision has been held to allow a private cause of action against a state actor (Dorwart v. Caraway, 312 Mont. 1 (Mont. 2002)).
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Social Security numbers (SSNs). Government website operators may not collect personally identifiable information, including SSNs, from a user unless the website identifies its operator; provides the operator's address, e-mail address, and telephone number; and generally describes the operator's information practices, including policies to protect the privacy of the user and the steps taken to protect the security of the collected information. In addition, if the information may be used for a purpose other than the express purpose of the website, or may be given or sold to a third party, the website must include a clear and conspicuous notice to the user that the information could be so used; a general description of the third parties that may obtain the information; and a clear, online procedure requiring the user's permission before the information is collected (Mont. Code § 2-17-552).
In addition, records maintained by the state for purposes of child support that contain an obligor's or obligee's SSN, address, income sources, employer, and similar information are confidential and generally not subject to disclosure (Mont. Code § 40-5-923). The state Department of Motor Vehicles must keep an applicant's SSN confidential and may not use a licensee's SSN as the distinguishing number (Mont. Code § 61-5-107 et seq.).
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