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house Bill H.R. 5320

Identity Theft: Should Full Social Security Numbers Not be Mailed?

Argument in favor

It is common sense that the Social Security Administration, whenever possible, should avoid mailing out documents to beneficiaries that include their full Social Security Numbers to prevent instances of identity theft.

SherryTX's Opinion
···
09/20/2016
This is a no brainer. What amazes me is that we need a Bill to accomplish this. This should be a simple policy issue. Furthermore- instead of mailing anything, we should have the option to retrieve documents on a secure web site. So how about we focus on security and get out of the Stone Age.
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Bill's Opinion
···
09/20/2016
The SSA should also discontinue using the social security number as the Medicare account number.
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Elinor's Opinion
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08/11/2016
Really? We need a law to tell the SS Administration what is logical? Who is running the place? Only idiots?
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Argument opposed

The Social Security Administration has to include full Social Security Numbers in some documents that it mails to beneficiaries, so it’s up to those receiving the mail to ensure that their documents aren’t misappropriated.

RedSix's Opinion
···
09/21/2016
This is one of those things that sounds good but in fact is pointless. There are so many ways someone's SSN can be compromised. Seems like extra regulation for no reason. How about making it the job of the agency or business to validate the person using an SSN is who they say they are?
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Alis's Opinion
···
09/20/2016
Having been a federal employee, this strikes me as micromanaging of the worst sort! This year's Planned Parenthood & Benghazi hearings taught me a resounding lesson about the current U.S.Congress: you don't do your homework! Nor do you hold yourselves to a very high standard--you clearly reserve the higher standard of showing up prepared to do your job for others but not for exalted personages such as yourselves! In case you are clueless--as usual--about the public perception of those hearings: 1. You were so worked up & self righteous about women's health care that you were prepared to cut funding for screening for breast & cervical cancer rather than risk your high moral standards. Unfortunately, you were so ill informed about how women's health care is delivered in the U.S.that your shiny white asses were visible to the world for hours! 2. The same was true about Benghazi: after months & months of repeated useless hearings, not one committee member had bothered to understand how the Department of State actually does internal communication! It was humiliating & infuriating to watch. I did NOT work at State but I do know how they do it and, let me assure you, in all your fiscally conservative splendor, that I did NOT get paid $174,000/year to show up badly prepared to do my federal job! I trust that the Social Security Administration is capable of doing this without bumbling congressional oversight. If your knickers are in a knot over this issue, appropriate adequate funding for decent computer systems & cyber security! This means you: Sen Rubio & Rep DeSantis!
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Kathleen's Opinion
···
09/20/2016
No more federal government it up to us on the receiving end
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What is House Bill H.R. 5320?

This bill would prohibit the Social Security Administration (SSA) from sending any documents that include a complete Social Security Number by mail unless it’s necessary. It would seek to reduce the number of opportunities for a person’s identity to be stolen because their full Social Security Number (SSN) was included in mail they received.

The Commissioner of the SSA would provide Congress with a report detailing which of the agency’s documents have a full SSN on them, when the documents were last updated, and when the number can be partially removed unless the full SSN is deemed necessary. This report would be due twice annually for each of the first six years after this bill’s enactment.

Impact

People receiving mail that might’ve contained their full Social Security Number; Congress; and the Social Security Administration.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 5320

$0.00
The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would have no effect on the budget.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) introduced this bill in response to a report done by the SSA’s Inspector General which found that in 2015 the agency mailed about 352 million notices — 233 million (or 66 percent) of which included the recipient’s full Social Security number (SSN).

The report also found that the more frequently full SSNs are used the higher the probability they may be stolen and used to commit crimes. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requested that federal agencies guard against the unnecessary use of full SSNs in 2007 to protect personal information.

Rep. Johnson explained that SSA needs to stop using full SSNs whenever possible, and that his bill would solve that problem:

“The SSA makes too many Americans vulnerable to identity loss by mailing documents that include a Social Security Number when it’s just not necessary. Americans rightly expect that Social Security isn’t putting their identities at risk when a letter is lost or stolen. Our bill is a commonsense solution to a problem that simply shouldn’t exist.”

This legislation passed the House Ways and Means Committee on a voice vote, and it currently has the support of 23 cosponsors — including 21 Republicans and two Democrats.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Mike Gogulski)

AKA

Social Security Must Avert Identity Loss (MAIL) Act of 2016

Official Title

To restrict the inclusion of social security account numbers on documents sent by mail by the Social Security Administration, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Finance
  • The house Passed September 22nd, 2016
    Roll Call Vote 414 Yea / 0 Nay
      house Committees
      Social Security
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedMay 25th, 2016

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    This is a no brainer. What amazes me is that we need a Bill to accomplish this. This should be a simple policy issue. Furthermore- instead of mailing anything, we should have the option to retrieve documents on a secure web site. So how about we focus on security and get out of the Stone Age.
    Like (56)
    Follow
    Share
    This is one of those things that sounds good but in fact is pointless. There are so many ways someone's SSN can be compromised. Seems like extra regulation for no reason. How about making it the job of the agency or business to validate the person using an SSN is who they say they are?
    Like (17)
    Follow
    Share
    The SSA should also discontinue using the social security number as the Medicare account number.
    Like (38)
    Follow
    Share
    Really? We need a law to tell the SS Administration what is logical? Who is running the place? Only idiots?
    Like (19)
    Follow
    Share
    Makes sense to me. Anytime we can take precautions to prevent identity theft is worth the while. By the way, the opposing argument in this bill is another way of saying "not our problem".
    Like (10)
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    This seem obvious to me
    Like (9)
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    Having been a federal employee, this strikes me as micromanaging of the worst sort! This year's Planned Parenthood & Benghazi hearings taught me a resounding lesson about the current U.S.Congress: you don't do your homework! Nor do you hold yourselves to a very high standard--you clearly reserve the higher standard of showing up prepared to do your job for others but not for exalted personages such as yourselves! In case you are clueless--as usual--about the public perception of those hearings: 1. You were so worked up & self righteous about women's health care that you were prepared to cut funding for screening for breast & cervical cancer rather than risk your high moral standards. Unfortunately, you were so ill informed about how women's health care is delivered in the U.S.that your shiny white asses were visible to the world for hours! 2. The same was true about Benghazi: after months & months of repeated useless hearings, not one committee member had bothered to understand how the Department of State actually does internal communication! It was humiliating & infuriating to watch. I did NOT work at State but I do know how they do it and, let me assure you, in all your fiscally conservative splendor, that I did NOT get paid $174,000/year to show up badly prepared to do my federal job! I trust that the Social Security Administration is capable of doing this without bumbling congressional oversight. If your knickers are in a knot over this issue, appropriate adequate funding for decent computer systems & cyber security! This means you: Sen Rubio & Rep DeSantis!
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    Identity Theft is one of the worst crimes in existence and is incredibly difficult to fight. It should be a no brainer that all levels of government should be doing whatever is possible to prevent it from happening.
    Like (5)
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    This is an easy step towards minimizing unnecessary risks
    Like (5)
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    No more federal government it up to us on the receiving end
    Like (5)
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    This is a policy that is past due. Identity theft is a threat that affects every citizen.
    Like (5)
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    It would be protective of SS #'s
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    As far back as I can clearly remember, only the last 4 digits are used to identify one self. And I would really like to know how many other people are using my SSN. So far…silence. Therefore, the IRS knows who are using our SSN and won't investigate the user. A FLAT TAX would solve this problem overnight. Kinda like everyone would/could participate in our democracy.
    Like (4)
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    Vast majority of identity theft comes from stolen trash, not credit card terminal hacking or personal computer spying. It is beyond stupid for anyone to mail out a full social security number.
    Like (4)
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    Limit the number of opportunities of identity theft.
    Like (4)
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    Any precaution we can take to reduce identity theft now days is a plus. Our Social security card is almost like our fingerprints, why would you not protect that number!!!
    Like (3)
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    There is no need to mail out any type of document with the full Social Security number. All Social Security numbers should be concealed with government oversight. This information should be restricted with the exception of basic employment records, private health sector, financial records, or government agencies. I profoundly believe there should be government oversight to protect the privilege of having a social security number. As the government certainly knows how much money is contributed by each individual, a security system to protect the integrity of the program should be consistently monitored.
    Like (3)
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    Sound like common sense
    Like (3)
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    when the neighborhood mail box was broken into last Dec. they got 2 IRS payment agreements with our full SS #. When the SS Dept sends me information they use the full #. As long as thief's can so easily obtain this we are all at danger of Identity theft. Replacing the locked mailbox was the least of my worry.
    Like (3)
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    No brainier. SSA could have thought this one up themselves if Congress would let them do their jobs and pay back what it "borrowed" from the trust fund.
    Like (2)
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