Congress yet again is combating the fraud issues associated with private consumer information. The “Protecting the Privacy of Social Security Numbers Ac” (S. 141) is another good example of this.
Essentially, this bill encompasses the following measures:
It prohibits any person from displaying, selling, purchasing an individual’s Social Security number without the affirmative, express consent of the individual, subject to a number of exceptions (e.g., for national security, law enforcement, or public health purposes, or if the display is required, authorized, or excepted under any Federal law). This bill would also would prohibit any federal, state, or local government from displaying Social Security numbers on public records posted on the Internet or from printing them on government checks.
What is interesting to note is a clause at the beginning of the bill where the Senate actually “acknowledges” the seriousness of these issues by stating the following:
“The inappropriate display, sale, or purchase of Social Security numbers has contributed to a growing range of illegal activities, including fraud, identity theft, and, in some cases, stalking and other violent crimes.”
Again, yet another example of how security and privacy will continue to be a formidable topic in Washington, D.C. and rightfully so.