Fuschillo Legislation to Prohibit Inmates From Accessing Social Security Numbers Receives Final Passage From Senate

     Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) announced today that legislation he sponsors, which would prohibit inmates from being employed in any capacity that affords them access to the collection or processing of social security numbers, has received final passage from the New York State Senate.

     This new law would amend the Correction Law to add an additional restriction on use of inmate labor, prohibiting the collection or processing of social security numbers by prisoners.

     “With today’s technology and identity theft on the rise, it doesn’t make sense to put the personal information of New York State residents in the hands of criminals,” said Senator Fuschillo. “Not only are individuals losing control over sensitive personal information such as social security numbers, but they are losing that control to inmates in our prison system. Most people aren’t aware that their private information may pass through the fingers of inmates. We need to protect the people of New York from the ongoing plague of identity theft by strengthening the laws and denying inmates access to such precious information.”

     For years, a number of data companies and information brokers have employed prisoners to compile and enter sensitive identifying information into databases. Such access to social security numbers and other identifying information can pose dangerous consequences including the promotion of identity theft and other untold criminal activities. The legislation (S. 7594), would prohibit inmates from ever having access to personal identifying information and also prohibit any person from knowingly using the service of inmates in this capacity.

     The legislation has also been passed by the Assembly and will be sent to Governor Cuomo for consideration.