Before they fled Washington early, the Senate managed to pass S.3789, the Social Security Number Protection Act of 2010.
The bill, which had been introduced by Senator Feinstein, is designed to reduce identity theft and has two key provisions:
- (a) It prohibits governmental agencies from using individuals’ Social Security Numbers on any checks cut by the governmental agency, including local, state, and federal agencies; and
- (b) It prohibits inmates having access to Social Security Numbers. There have been a few breaches over the past few years where employees discovered that inmates had access to their SSN.
The first provision is the one that affects the greatest number of people, but unfortunately, that provision won’t go into effect until three years after the date of enactment.
The Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent on September 28. It has yet to be assigned to a House committee for consideration.
In looking over the bills in the House, I do not see where the exact bill had previously been introduced there, although there are other bills that contain identical provisions, such as H.R. 122 and H.R. 3306, both of which also contain additional provisions.
To see other privacy-related bills that have been introduced in Congress, see the Bills in Congress page on this site. DataBreaches.net also has a page of bills in Congress listing bills that are related to preventing ID theft or that deal with data breach notification.