Labor & HR Committee Update
August 24, 2012
Staff Contact: Frank Kerbein
Governor Signs Bill Limiting Disclosure of Social Security Numbers
On August 14, 2012, Governor Cuomo approved S.6608-A (Zelden)/A.8992-A (Dinowitz), restricting those situations where individuals would have to disclose their social security numbers (SSN). The Business Council supported enactment of this legislation designed to advance personal privacy and prevent identity theft. Its provisions take effect on December 14, 2012.
The bill will prohibit any person or business from requiring an individual to disclose his or her social security number to obtain a good or service, unless when SSN disclosure is required by law or falls under a specific exemption. Exemptions include:
- the individual voluntarily consenting to the use of his or her social security number (where such use is not otherwise prohibited);
- the number is to be used for internal verification or fraud investigation;
- the number is requested in connection with a deposit account or investment;
- the number is needed for a range of employment uses including administration of an employee fringe benefit, retirement, safety, termination or unemployment insurance claim handling;
- for tax compliance purposes;
- for use in the collection of child or spousal support, a criminal record determination or blood donation;
- it is requested by an individual, 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;
- the request is 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;
- the SSN is requested for verifying an individual's identity or age in order to allow such individual to obtain access to, or enroll in, a marketing program that is restricted to individuals of a certain age;
- requests by a banking institution; or by an authorized insurer for the purpose of furnishing information to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services within the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Violations of these restrictions are subject to injunctive relief and civil penalties of up to $500 for initial violations, and $1,000 for subsequent violations.
The Business Council believes that this legislation strikes a workable balance between providing privacy protection to individuals and accommodating legitimate business needs.
Business Council members are invited to call the HR Line, the Council’s human resources information hotline, at 800-332-2117 if questions come up concerning this new law.