Larkin Supports Restricting Access To Social Security Numbers

William J. Larkin, Jr.

June 06, 2005

Citing the need to increase protections that combat identity theft, Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) is pushing for legislation that would remove the current requirement to display social security numbers on certain public records.

The bill (S.3933) states that a person's social security number would not have to appear on legal documents such as mortgages, judgments, uniform commercial code filings, death certificates, veteran's discharges, or state tax warrants. Another provision of the bill states that employees of public offices who receive a request for a record which contains a person's social security number must refuse to share that information if they determine that the record sought could be used for any commercial, illegal or unrelated purposes.

"Identity theft is a serious problem," said Senator Larkin. "Unscrupulous individuals are looking for any way they can to get someone's social security number. One of these ways is to try to deceive state and local agencies and making them think they are assisting someone with legitimate business. This legislation is aimed at curbing the availability of these records. There is no reason that public entities should be providing the means for these individuals to steal a person’s identity. By restricting access to this information, we will take another step toward safeguarding honest citizens. There is no need to have a social security written on the records listed in this bill. Doing so only opens up the unsuspecting individual to the possibility of becoming a victim of identity theft."

A cosponsor of the bill, Senator Larkin is asking residents to contact their state and local officials to express their support of S.3933.