Bipartisan legislation authored by U.S. Senators Judd Gregg (R-NH) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to curb the growing epidemic of identity theft passed the U.S. Senate this week. The Social Security Number Protection Act of 2010 will make it harder for Social Security numbers to be stolen by prohibiting government entities from hiring prisoners or recent ex-prisoners for jobs that allow them to access Social Security numbers, a practice that continues to occur in eight states. It also prohibits governments on all levels from printing Social Security numbers on government-issued checks. The following Senators joined Senators Gregg and Feinstein in cosponsoring this legislation: Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), John Barrasso (R-WY) and Tom Coburn (R-OK).
Senator Gregg stated, "As online activity and identify theft continue to increase, we must redouble efforts to guard personal identifying information. I am proud to have worked with Senator Feinstein to pass legislation through the Senate that will establish strong, common sense prohibitions on the access to and display of Social Security numbers, keeping them safe from fraud and other harmful uses. I am hopeful that the House of Representatives will move quickly to pass this important bipartisan measure in order to enhance the privacy of all Americans."
The legislation will:
* Prohibit government entities from hiring prisoners and recently released ex-prisoners for jobs that allow them to access Social Security numbers.
* Prohibit federal, state, and local government entities from printing Social Security numbers of any individual on government-issued checks.