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house Bill H.R. 624

Do the Feds Need to Deter Identity Theft by Not Mailing Documents With Social Security Numbers?

Argument in favor

As a common sense way of preventing identity theft and Social Security fraud, federal agencies should avoid mailing documents with full Social Security numbers to the greatest extent possible.

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05/24/2017
Why not utilize the currently favored "last four" that financial institutions of every description use already?
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05/24/2017
This is something already being implemented in other agencies that deal with personal private information. It's time to get on board. This shouldn't even be a question in 2017.
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operaman's Opinion
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05/22/2017
Seems like a sensible answer, but WOW, one year to take affect. Can't imagine why the this important number would be printed in plain site when issuing documents states the "your SS information should be protected and kept in a safe location."
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Argument opposed

The federal government should continue to mail documents with full Social Security numbers and not spend time framing regulations aimed at reducing the use of full SSNs.

Laura's Opinion
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05/24/2017
Nay. The government needs to provide equal access to information to all. There are still more people than many realize who don't have internet access and are dependent upon the mail for important communication. These folks will be lost if expected to access information via email. Identity theft is a valid concern, but not sending mail is not the answer. Use the last 4 or something like that.
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itstilleytime's Opinion
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05/24/2017
This is coming from a perspective of a tax preparation volunteer. While it might not be necessary to have a SSN on EVERY single legal document, there is most certainly a benefit to having this number available on documents such as a W2 or other income documents to allow for proper identification and therefore adequate tax preparation. Additionally, a large number of my clients do not have an email address or other means of electronic communication to receive these documents via email. With all this in mind, while maybe some documents can exclude this number, it is necessary to provide proper identification for individuals who are not technologically inclined.
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selliebee's Opinion
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05/24/2017
This does seem like a no-brainer but I doubt it will substantially reduce identity theft when we've all been pwned or had our user-names, passwords, credit card info, and SSNs leaked in all kinds of data-breaches over the past decade. Maybe start with a bill that protects our info in a meaningful way. I actually find this bill incredibly ironic since the 115 congress is so utterly unconcerned with its citizens basic privacy-repealing the protections Obama gave us with the infamous S.J.Res. 34. (Thanks GOP! For clearly not giving a flying fuck about citizens rights to privacy). Really, this bill is not about our protections at all: it's only about protecting the government.
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bill Progress


  • EnactedSeptember 15th, 2017
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed September 6th, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
  • The house Passed May 24th, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedJanuary 24th, 2017

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What is House Bill H.R. 624?

This bill would prevent the federal government from putting Social Security numbers on documents sent by mail, and whenever possible partially redact or completely remove the SSN from the document. Each federal department or agency would issue regulations specifying when the inclusion of an SSN is necessary, include instructions for redactions when possible, and ensure an SSN isn’t displayed on the outside of any package sent by mail. This requirement would take effect one year from this legislation’s enactment.

Impact

People who receive documents from the federal government with their Social Security number on them; and all federal agencies.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 624

$0.00
The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would have no significant cost.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) introduced this bill to prevent the federal government from unnecessarily mailing documents with people’s full Social Security number on them:

“Our federal government should be working to protect our nation's veterans and children, not actively contributing to the occurrence of this crime." He went on, "I am proud to introduce this commonsense legislation to remove Social Security Numbers from government documents when they aren't necessary.”

This legislation passed the House Oversight Committee on a voice vote, and has the support of 31 bipartisan cosponsors including 17 Republicans and 14 Democrats.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Public Domain)

AKA

Social Security Number Fraud Prevention Act of 2017

Official Title

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

    Why not utilize the currently favored "last four" that financial institutions of every description use already?
    Like (89)
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    Nay. The government needs to provide equal access to information to all. There are still more people than many realize who don't have internet access and are dependent upon the mail for important communication. These folks will be lost if expected to access information via email. Identity theft is a valid concern, but not sending mail is not the answer. Use the last 4 or something like that.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    This is something already being implemented in other agencies that deal with personal private information. It's time to get on board. This shouldn't even be a question in 2017.
    Like (43)
    Follow
    Share
    Seems like a sensible answer, but WOW, one year to take affect. Can't imagine why the this important number would be printed in plain site when issuing documents states the "your SS information should be protected and kept in a safe location."
    Like (41)
    Follow
    Share
    I think this is good, but we need to move AWAY from SSN for identity outside of social security. We should all have a credit ID, tax ID and SSN. All used for separate purposes so that if someone gets your SSN, they can't mess with your credit. Why has no representative pushed for this?
    Like (32)
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    It is utter stupidity to have someone's SS ON A PUBLIC MAILING!
    Like (20)
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    originally SSNs were not supposed to be used for identification but the government and the military began doing just that in the 70s. the result is that personal Id is now closely linked in easily accessible so we oldsters want to help those yet to have stolen ids.
    Like (15)
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    Keep our information private. Identity theft is quite serious.
    Like (11)
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    This is coming from a perspective of a tax preparation volunteer. While it might not be necessary to have a SSN on EVERY single legal document, there is most certainly a benefit to having this number available on documents such as a W2 or other income documents to allow for proper identification and therefore adequate tax preparation. Additionally, a large number of my clients do not have an email address or other means of electronic communication to receive these documents via email. With all this in mind, while maybe some documents can exclude this number, it is necessary to provide proper identification for individuals who are not technologically inclined.
    Like (8)
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    This needs legislation? Social Security already dedacts all but the last four digits. Use some common sense. Of course this should happen, immediately upon enactment.
    Like (5)
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    Man. After looking at the votes you all take I've decided that you have the easiest job on the planet.
    Like (5)
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    Please stop mailing my ssn, it's very insecure and provides tools to hackers.
    Like (4)
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    The days of including or asking for SSN and date of birth in documents or in an public forum needs to be over.
    Like (4)
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    Yes, social security number should never be on any papers mailed by them. Should take effect as soon as possible to stop any possible theft of that most important number. When you first get your card, It says you should never carry your social security card on you, but store in a safe place. Well, it's not safe when it's in the mail coming to your house either.
    Like (4)
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    If this is contributing to confidential intimation being accessible, then what every needs to be done to solve the problems needs to happen.
    Like (4)
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    Last four digit is good
    Like (4)
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    This does seem like a no-brainer but I doubt it will substantially reduce identity theft when we've all been pwned or had our user-names, passwords, credit card info, and SSNs leaked in all kinds of data-breaches over the past decade. Maybe start with a bill that protects our info in a meaningful way. I actually find this bill incredibly ironic since the 115 congress is so utterly unconcerned with its citizens basic privacy-repealing the protections Obama gave us with the infamous S.J.Res. 34. (Thanks GOP! For clearly not giving a flying fuck about citizens rights to privacy). Really, this bill is not about our protections at all: it's only about protecting the government.
    Like (4)
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    Can we also maybe use an identification system that has more security than a library card? SSN was never meant to be an ID and it's extremely vulnerable.
    Like (4)
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    The internet is infinitely more unsafe than the US postal service. Every GOP bill introduced so far is a waste of time and symbolic pandering.
    Like (3)
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    Identity theft is real, yet the government that blames you if your ss card gets stolen, prints in out and mails it Willy Nilly!
    Like (3)
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