THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
VICE PRESIDENT GORE ANNOUNCES NEW LEGISLATION TO PREVENT THE SALE OF SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS Washington, DC--Vice President Gore announced today that the
Justice Department is submitting to Congress new legislation protecting a person's privacy by prohibiting the sale of Social Security numbers. The proposal makes selling Social Security numbers online or offline for profit a federal crime.
"I believe that privacy is a basic American value. This new legislation will help Americans protect their Social Security numbers and as a result safeguard the privacy of their most sensitive information," Vice President Gore said.
The Social Security Number Protection Act of 2000 makes it a civil and criminal offense for a person to either sell or purchase Social Security numbers, except for limited legitimate purposes. Access to someone else's Social Security number has led to identity theft, credit fraud and increased cases of stalking.
Unfortunately, companies that profit from the sale of Social Security numbers have magnified the availability of the numbers and the scope of the problem. Just last year, the Social Security Administration Inspector General hotline received 30,000 complaints of misuse of Social Security numbers.
The new legislation will be introduced today by Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congressman Ed Markey.