The question is, should your business be held to the same data security regulation that TJX should? Thankfully, along with this second delay in the implementation of the new MS Data Privacy law, the original legislation has been amended to take a more "risk based" approach. What does that actually mean? Well, from what I can tell, the judiciary will have plenty wiggle room when assessing your ability to comply with the wide range of requirements written into the legislation.
The new version of the law (201 CMR 17.00) seems more palatable for small business. Much of what is in the presently proposed legislation should already be happening, even within small shops. Things like implementing password policy, auditing permissions to data that contains PII, ensuring virus and malware software is up to date, disabling the accounts of terminated employees, etc.. Those are tasks that clearly should not introduce additional burden on small businesses. The requirement to encryption PII can get tricky for small businesses, but few will argue about the merits of forcing this requirement.
The state of MA will be holding a public debate on the bill on 9/22 in Boston. It should be an interesting spectacle. Perhaps this hearing will devolve into a health care like shouting match between big business and the legislature. I plan on going, stay tuned for more.