Feb 14 2001


Sen. Shelby Bill Prohibits the Sale and Purchase of Social Security Numbers by Financial Institutions

U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-AL) today introduced legislation that would prevent the unauthorized disclosure of Social Security numbers.

Senator Shelby's "Social Security Privacy Act of 2001" would prohibit the sale and purchase of an individual's Social Security number by financial institutions. The legislation would include Social Security numbers as "nonpublic personal information" subject to the privacy protections of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

"I believe Congress has a duty to stop Social Security numbers from being bought and sold like some common commodity," said Shelby. "Social Security numbers are key to just about all the personal information concerning an individual. While Congress waits to act, the easy access and extreme availability of our personal information has lead to fraud, abuse, identity theft and in the more extreme cases-stalking and death."

"I do not know anyone in this country who believes financial institutions should be making money by trafficking in our Social Security numbers," added Shelby. "The longer we wait to act on this issue-an issue supported by a vast majority of Americans-the more the American people lose confidence in the U.S. Congress and our ability to lead."