NAPBS-LEGISLATION ALERT October 18, 2005
New York S.B. 250
Status: 1/1/05 - Introduced and referred to committee on senate consumer protection.
This is an extreme bill directed to protecting the social security number. The Bill provides that any person or entity requesting a social security number from any person must disclose whether the disclosure is authorized by federal or state law and the principle purpose(s) for which the social security number will be used. Another section prohibits anyone from requiring disclosure of a social security number unless required by law. Although many entities such as employers, financial institutions etc. must have the social security number, this Bill would require disclosure each and every time. The social security number is a standard identifier and used when searching records. While some background screeners operate without it; its use is helpful in matching records to the subject. This Bill is unclear whether an employer can use the social security number for anything other than their mandated uses.
New Jersey S.B. 2665
Status: 6/20/05 – Introduced in the senate – referred to senate commerce committee.
This is an ominous consumer protection legislation. It includes securities freezes for identity theft; requires consumer notice, requires a permissible purpose for credit header information; notification of security breach in regard to personal identifying information and security for the disposal of personal identifying information. This applies to consumer reporting agencies and their customers but for anyone. The Bill also has a restriction on the use of the social security number.
The Bill attempts to address all current popular consumer privacy issues in one bill. The provisions follow the general content of these bills with a few minor exceptions e.g. no fee for temporary lifting of security freeze. The good news is that resellers of credit information are exempt from its coverage, but the Bill applies to all consumer reports not just those containing credit information.
The unique feature of this Bill is it sets a time table for faster lifting of security freezes in consumer reports. It starts at a level similar to current bills and provides that a consumer reporting agency has five (5) business days to temporary lift the freeze. After one (1) year of passage of the Act that time drops to twenty-four (24) hours (not business days or hours, just hours), after two (2) years this drops to six (6) hours, after three (3) years it drops to within one (1) hour if the consumer calls the consumer reporting agency and within five (5) minutes of the consumer reporting agencies is contacted over the internet or some “other electronic immediate request”. This later phrase is not defined. Obviously, this, timetable would dramatically affect small consumer reporting agencies and require an investment in technology and/or personnel would be required to meet these requirements. Speed seems to be an important issue in New Jersey. See S.B. 1914 and A.B. 4001, both requiring Regulatory Director to establish guidelines to expedite the lifting of security freezes with the goal of fifteen (15) minutes response time in the not so distant future.
These bills have passed state legislatures and have been signed by the respective governors.
Texas H.B. 1130
Status: 5/27/05 – (s) signed by Governor.
This law restricts the use of social security numbers. It should not have impact<