Legislation Status Report from NCISS

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation today passed an
amendment to limit the sale and distribution of Social Security numbers.
The amendment, offered by Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and cosponsored by
Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) was adopted as part of the Committee’s consideration of
S 1408, the “Identity Theft Protection Act”.

We have serious concerns over such an amendment. We do not believe that
this bill will go directly to the Senate floor for a vote unless there are
hearings or some changes made. Several senators expressed concern over the
possible unintended consequences of such an amendment.

In Addition, negotiations must be held with the Banking Committee over
jurisdictional issues.

The Social Security amendment was adopted by voice vote only after several
members of the committee expressed concern that the amendment not have “
unintended consequences”. One senator indicated that it was possible that if SSN’
s were eliminated and no other unique identifiers existed, the situation
could become worse. Another said he understood the purpose of the amendment and
would support it today, but wants to review it to see if there would be any
unintended consequences and is reserving the right to object later. Another
indicated that care must be used in adopting the amendment because there are
some private users who need ID’s to “fight fraud”.
Over the next month, NCISS will work with the Committee members to try to
craft language that recognizes the legitimate need for private investigators
to have access to the data. The good news is that several Senators are
interested in the issue and understand how serious this issue is. These same
Senators that voiced concerns over the unintended consequences of this amendment
were called on by our NCISS members' visits to DC two weeks ago. August will
offer a good opportunity for NCISS members to try to meet with committee
members in their home states and for NCISS Government Affairs Larry Sabbath and
Legislative Committee members to carry the message with staff in DC.
Mr.Sabbath attended today's Senate Committee on behalf of NCISS. We have
not yet seen the actual amendment and will comment further once we have
reviewed it.

Bruce Hulme, Chair
for the NCISS Legislative Committee

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