Grandstanding is when politicians get up on a podium and tie in their name with laws that may get them re-elected. This particular piece of legislation has that smell. Identity theft protection and identity theft prevention begins with authentication and finishes with accountability. Putting a band-aid on the issue will not solve the problem. Beef up Real ID and lock down credit as we know it.
WASHINGTON – Yesterday, U.S. Senators Judd Gregg (R-NH) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced bipartisan legislation to curb the growing epidemic of identity theft by making it harder for criminals to steal another person’s Social Security number. The measure, entitled the Protecting the Privacy of Social Security Numbers Act, prohibits the sale or display of Social Security numbers to the general public without an individual’s consent. It also requires government agencies to take steps to protect Social Security numbers from being displayed or accessed. In the past, this bill has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, although the Senate has yet to pass it.
Senator Gregg stated, “As online activity and identity theft continues to increase, Congress must redouble its efforts to guard personal identifying information. An enormous amount of information is tied to a person’s Social Security number, and I’m pleased, once again, to join with Senator Feinstein to help keep it safe from fraud or other harmful uses. Our bipartisan legislation establishes strong, common sense prohibitions on the sale and display of Social Security numbers. This measure will help to protect against identity theft and enhance the privacy of all Americans, and I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues on getting it signed into law this Congress.”
The legislation would:
· Prohibit the sale, purchase or display of a Social Security number by any person without the number holder’s consent.
· Restricts the display of Social Security numbers on public records published on the Internet or in electronic form.
· In limited circumstances (such as for credit checks or law enforcement purposes), the bill would permit legitimate business and government uses of Social Security numbers.