The State of
This law apparently prompted the Texas Private Security Board, a State of
H.B. No. 2833 appears to have far reaching implications in the world of IT and there are several areas that could be directly impacted. Some areas of concern are;
· Consumers who seek out service from a repair specialist who isn’t a licensed PI;
· Outsourced IT operations who have to recruit IT personnel;
· Consultants who implement IT solutions for customers;
· Companies who collect, store, and search electronically stored information for possible eDiscovery legal requests that was recently covered in a recent blog entry posted by another DCIG analyst, Greg Buckles.
Although the original intent of the law is hard to determine it would appear that the Texas Department of Public Safety attempted to alleviate some confusion through an opinion provided by the Public Security Bureau, although the opinion has done little to clarify the current situation. Due to the civil risk to IT professionals a law such as this could have the unintended consequence of squeezing an already short supply of IT professionals, forcing small business owners out of business, and businesses having fewer qualified IT consulting options.
A great deal of focus in the news has been on PC repair shops, but another area of concern is how IT responds to legal requests within a company. If your company collects, stores, and searches Electronically Stored Information (ESI) for the purposes of legal requests then does your company fall into the definition of an “Investigations Company” and thus subject to licensing? This is an area of concern that no doubt will need further clarification.
Time, debate, and litigation will bear out the final results, but it is clear this law has far reaching impact. Companies, IT professionals, and consumers should ensure they are not operating outside the boundaries set forth in this law due to the attached civil and criminal penalties. It is obvious this law has created a lot of confusion and no matter what the legislature intended when it enacted this law, the State of Texas has created a storm of controversy, and one to which IT professionals will be paying close attention.