Rhode Island Privacy laws & HR compliance analysis

Rhode Island Privacy: What you need to know

Rhode Island law specifically recognizes the right to privacy of its citizens. The right to privacy includes the right to be secure from:
• Unreasonable intrusion upon one's solitude or seclusion;
• The appropriation of one's name or likeness;
• Unreasonable publicity given to one's private life; and
• Publicity that places another in a false light before the public (R.I. Gen. Laws § 9-1-28.1).
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Rhode Island law also allows an individual to sue if his or her name, portrait, or picture is used within the state for advertising or trade purposes without his or her written consent (R.I. Gen. Laws § 9-1-28).
An employer can be liable for failing to remove a former employee’s likeness from its website, a state court ruled. The employee had adequately stated claims under both the appropriation and “false light” invasion of privacy theories, the court explained (Rompf v. Int'l Tennis Hall of Fame, Inc., 2016 R.I. Super. LEXIS 104 (R.I. Super. Ct., Aug. 25, 2016)).
Social Security numbers (SSNs). Rhode Island law prohibits any person, firm, corporation, or other business from:
• Recording a purchaser's credit card or SSN as a means of ID on a check tendered by the purchaser during a retail sale of goods or merchandise (R.I. Gen. Laws § 6-13-15);
• Requiring a credit card holder to record personal information that is not required by the credit card issuer in order to complete a credit transaction (R.I. Gen. Laws § 6-13-16);
• Requiring that a consumer disclose his or her SSN in order to obtain goods or services, unless otherwise authorized by state or federal law (R.I. Gen. Laws § 6-13-17); or
• Requiring a customer to furnish his or her SSN or driver's license number in order to ...

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