In an effort to combat identity theft, New York State Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R, C, I- Shirley) announced today that his legislation (S.6608A/A.8992A) to limit disclosure of Social Security Numbers (SSN) has just been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo. This bill, introduced by Senator Zeldin, passed the Senate on June 18, 2012.
This new law prohibits an entity from requiring an individual to disclose their SSN, unless the disclosure is otherwise required by law or covered under an exemption provided for legitimate purposes. It will also prohibit these entities from refusing to provide any service based on the refusal of an individual to disclose their SSN.
The Federal Trade Commission, the Social Security Administration, the General Accounting Office and other organizations have all acknowledged that easy access to sensitive personal information plays a significant role in identity theft. Despite this awareness, certain entities continue to demand that individuals furnish their SSN even in circumstances where it is not required by law.
“The widespread public exposure of our personal information, especially our Social Security numbers, coupled with the almost universal use of the internet, makes it that much easier for criminals to steal our identities,” said Senator Zeldin. “This bill will help protect New Yorkers from these potentially devastating threats by restricting the dissemination and collection of Social Security Numbers. I commend Governor Cuomo for signing this important legislation and for his partnership in our continued efforts to help protect New Yorkers from Identity Theft.”