Tracks federal privacy act of 1974 with respect to the obligation of a person to disclose their social security number to another person, partnership, association or corporation; provides where there is no legal basis for request that a person may refuse to provide his or her social security number; provides for enforcement by attorney general.
Ayes (9): Zeldin, Ball, Fuschillo, Little, Marcellino, O'Mara, Adams, Hassell-Thompson, Squadron
Excused (1): Huntley
BILL NUMBER:S6608A REVISED 06/13/12
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general business law, in relation to the disclosure of social security numbers
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this bill is to restrict the dissemination and collection of social Security numbers in order to increase consumer privacy and prevent identity theft.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: This bill would prohibit any person or business entity from requiring an individual to disclose his or her Social Security number, or to refuse any service, privilege or right based on an individual's refusal to disclose such number. The bill-would not apply if the SSN is required by law or covered under one of several exemptions provided for legitimate uses, including collecting child or spousal support, opening a deposit account, interacting with a law enforcement agency, a credit transaction initiated by the consumer, and tax compliance. Further, it is not intended that this bill apply to any third party who is contracted with to do the business of any authorized entity.
The bill would authorize the Attorney General's office to enforce its provisions, provide for a civil penalty of not more than five hundred dollars per violation.
JUSTIFICATION: The Federal Trade Commission, the Social Security Administration, the General Accounting Office and other acknowledge that the widespread public exposure of personal information, especially social Security account numbers, plays a significant role in identity theft. Despite heightened awareness of this risk, some entities continue to demand that individuals furnish a social Security Number (SSN) in circumstances when the use of the SSN is neither required by law or necessary. Consumers are often given the impression that they must remit their SSN. In some instances, the disclosure of one's SSN has been made a condition for obtaining services.
The federal Privacy Act of 1974 requires federal, state and local governmental agencies requesting SSNs to cite its formal legal authority, reveal whether disclosure is mandatory or voluntary and explain how the number will be used. Enactment of this bill would extend this protection to the private sector.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2010: A.9532B - Passed Assembly 2009: A.235 - Passed Assembly 2007-08: A.334 - Passed Assembly
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: 120 days after enactment.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6608--A IN SENATE March 2, 2012 ___________Introduced by Sen. ZELDIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Consumer Protection -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to the disclosure of social security numbers THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The general business law is amended by adding a new section 399-ddd to read as follows: S 399-DDD. DISCLOSURE OF SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER. 1. AS USED IN THIS SECTION, "SOCIAL SECURITY ACCOUNT NUMBER" SHALL INCLUDE THE NUMBER ISSUED BY THE FEDERAL SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION AND ANY NUMBER DERIVED FROM SUCH NUMBER. SUCH TERM SHALL NOT INCLUDE ANY NUMBER THAT HAS BEEN ENCRYPTED. 2. NO PERSON, FIRM, PARTNERSHIP, ASSOCIATION OR CORPORATION, NOT INCLUDING THE STATE OR ITS POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS, SHALL REQUIRE AN INDIVIDUAL TO DISCLOSE OR FURNISH HIS OR HER SOCIAL SECURITY ACCOUNT NUMBER, FOR ANY PURPOSE IN CONNECTION WITH ANY ACTIVITY, OR TO REFUSE ANY SERVICE, PRIVILEGE OR RIGHT TO AN INDIVIDUAL WHOLLY OR PARTLY BECAUSE SUCH INDIVIDUAL REFUSES TO DISCLOSE OR FURNISH SUCH NUMBER, UNLESS ONE OF THE EXCEPTIONS ENUMERATED IN SUBDIVISION THREE OF THIS SECTION APPLIES. 3. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY IN THE FOLLOWING INSTANCES: (A) THE INDIVIDUAL CONSENTS TO THE ACQUISITION OR USE OF HIS OR HER SOCIAL SECURITY ACCOUNT NUMBER. (B) THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACCOUNT NUMBER IS EXPRESSLY REQUIRED BY FEDER- AL, STATE, OR LOCAL LAW OR REGULATION. (C) THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACCOUNT NUMBER IS TO BE USED FOR INTERNAL VERIFICATION OR FRAUD INVESTIGATION. (D) THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACCOUNT NUMBER IS TO BE USED FOR ANY BUSINESS FUNCTION PERMITTED OR ALLOWED UNDER THE GRAMM LEACH BLILEY ACT, P.L. 106-102 (1999).EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01061-05-2 S. 6608--A 2
(E) THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACCOUNT NUMBER IS REQUESTED IN CONNECTION WITH A REQUEST FOR CREDIT OR A CREDIT TRANSACTION INITIATED BY THE CONSUMER OR IN CONNECTION WITH A LAWFUL REQUEST FOR A CONSUMER REPORT OR INVESTI- GATIVE CONSUMER REPORT, AS SUCH TERMS ARE DEFINED IN SECTION THREE HUNDRED EIGHTY-A OF THIS CHAPTER. (F) THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACCOUNT NUMBER IS REQUESTED IN CONNECTION WITH A DEPOSIT ACCOUNT OR AN INVESTMENT. (G) THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACCOUNT NUMBER IS REQUESTED FOR PURPOSES OF EMPLOYMENT, INCLUDING IN THE COURSE OF THE ADMINISTRATION OF A CLAIM, BENEFIT, OR PROCEDURE RELATED TO THE INDIVIDUAL'S EMPLOYMENT BY THE PERSON, INCLUDING THE INDIVIDUAL'S TERMINATION FROM EMPLOYMENT, RETIRE- MENT FROM EMPLOYMENT, INJURY SUFFERED DURING THE COURSE OF EMPLOYMENT, OR TO CHECK ON AN UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE CLAIM OF THE INDIVIDUAL. (H) THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACCOUNT NUMBER IS REQUESTED FOR PURPOSES OF TAX COMPLIANCE. (I) THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACCOUNT NUMBER IS REQUESTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF: I. THE COLLECTION OF CHILD OR SPOUSAL SUPPORT; II. DETERMINING WHETHER AN INDIVIDUAL HAS A CRIMINAL RECORD; OR III. BLOOD OR ORGAN DONATION. (J) THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACCOUNT NUMBER IS REQUESTED IN CONNECTION WITH ANY INTERACTION WITH A GOVERNMENTAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY OR IS USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE ENFORCEMENT OF A JUDGMENT OF A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION BY A SHERIFF OR MARSHAL. (K) THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACCOUNT NUMBER IS REQUESTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF VERIFYING AN INDIVIDUAL'S IDENTITY OR AGE IN ORDER TO ALLOW SUCH INDI- VIDUAL TO OBTAIN ACCESS TO, OR ENROLL IN, A MARKETING PROGRAM THAT IS RESTRICTED TO INDIVIDUALS OF A CERTAIN AGE. (L) I. THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACCOUNT NUMBER IS REQUESTED BY AN INDIVID- UAL, FIRM, CORPORATION, OR OTHER ENTITY DOING BUSINESS PURSUANT TO A FRANCHISE ISSUED BY A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THE STATE OR A LICENSE, FRANCHISE, CERTIFICATE OR OTHER AUTHORIZATION ISSUED BY THE NEW YORK STATE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION. II. THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACCOUNT NUMBER IS REQUESTED BY AN INDIVIDUAL, FIRM, CORPORATION, OR OTHER ENTITY REGULATED BY THE NEW YORK STATE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION, OR THE FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION. III. THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACCOUNT NUMBER IS REQUESTED BY A BANKING INSTITUTION, AS DEFINED IN SECTION NINE-F OF THE BANKING LAW, OR ONE OF ITS AFFILIATES. (M) THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACCOUNT NUMBER IS REQUESTED BY AN AUTHORIZED INSURER, AS DEFINED IN SECTION ONE HUNDRED SEVEN OF THE INSURANCE LAW, FOR THE PURPOSE OF FURNISHING INFORMATION TO THE CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES WITHIN THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. 4. WHENEVER THERE SHALL BE A VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION, APPLICATION MAY BE MADE BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IN THE NAME OF THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK TO A COURT OR JUSTICE HAVING JURISDICTION BY A SPECIAL PROCEEDING TO ISSUE AN INJUNCTION, AND UPON NOTICE TO THE DEFENDANT OF NOT LESS THAN FIVE DAYS, TO ENJOIN AND RESTRAIN THE CONTINUANCE OF SUCH VIOLATION; AND IF IT SHALL APPEAR TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE COURT OR JUSTICE THAT THE DEFENDANT HAS, IN FACT, VIOLATED THIS SECTION, AN INJUNCTION MAY BE ISSUED BY SUCH COURT OR JUSTICE, ENJOINING AND RESTRAINING ANY FURTHER VIOLATION, WITHOUT REQUIRING PROOF THAT ANY PERSON HAS, IN FACT, BEEN INJURED OR DAMAGED THEREBY. IN ANY SUCH PROCEEDING, THE COURT MAY MAKE ALLOWANCES TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ASS. 6608--A 3
PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH SIX OF SUBDIVISION (A) OF SECTION EIGHTY-THREE HUNDRED THREE OF THE CIVIL PRACTICE LAW AND RULES, AND DIRECT RESTITU- TION. IN CONNECTION WITH ANY SUCH PROPOSED APPLICATION, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IS AUTHORIZED TO TAKE PROOF AND MAKE A DETERMINATION OF THE RELEVANT FACTS AND TO ISSUE SUBPOENAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CIVIL PRAC- TICE LAW AND RULES. WHENEVER THE COURT SHALL DETERMINE THAT A VIOLATION OF SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION HAS OCCURRED, THE COURT SHALL IMPOSE A CIVIL PENALTY OF NOT MORE THAN FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS. THE SECOND OFFENSE AND ANY OFFENSE COMMITTED THEREAFTER SHALL BE PUNISHABLE BY A CIVIL PENALTY OF NOT MORE THAN ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. 5. NO PERSON, FIRM, PARTNERSHIP, ASSOCIATION OR CORPORATION SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE VIOLATED THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION IF SUCH PERSON, FIRM, PARTNERSHIP, ASSOCIATION OR CORPORATION SHOWS, BY A PREPONDERANCE OF THE EVIDENCE, THAT THE VIOLATION WAS NOT INTENTIONAL AND RESULTED FROM A BONA FIDE ERROR MADE NOTWITHSTANDING THE MAINTENANCE OF PROCE- DURES REASONABLY ADOPTED TO AVOID SUCH ERROR. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law.