Bill Name: Social Security Number Protection Act of 2007
Bill Description: A BILL
To strengthen the authority of the Federal Government to protect individuals from certain acts and practices in the sale and purchase of Social Security numbers and Social Security account numbers, and for other purposes.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Social Security Number Protection Act of 2007'.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

In this Act:

(1) COMMISSION- The term `Commission' means the Federal Trade Commission.

(2) PERSON- The term `person' means any individual, partnership, corporation, trust, estate, cooperative, association, or any other entity.

(3) SALE- The term `sale' means obtaining, directly or indirectly, anything of value in exchange for a Social Security number or Social Security account number. Such term does not include the submission of such numbers as part of the process for applying for any type of Government benefit or programs (such as grant or loan applications or welfare or other public assistance programs). Such term also does not include transfers of such numbers as part of a data matching program under the Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act.

(4) PURCHASE- The term `purchase' means providing directly or indirectly, anything of value in exchange for a Social Security number or Social Security account number. Such term does not include the submission of such numbers as part of the process for applying for any type of Government benefit or programs (such as grant or loan applications or welfare or other public assistance programs). Such term also does not include transfers of such numbers as part of a data matching program under the Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act.

(5) SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER- The term `Social Security number' means the social security account number assigned to an individual under section 205(c)(2)(B) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 405(c)(2)(B)).

(6) STATE- The term `State' means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and any territory or possession of the United States.

SEC. 3. REGULATION OF THE SALE AND PURCHASE OF SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS.

(a) Prohibition- It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or purchase a Social Security number in a manner that violates a regulation promulgated by the Commission under subsection (b) of this section.

(b) Regulations-

(1) RESTRICTIONS AUTHORIZED- The Commission, after consultation with the Commissioner of Social Security, the Attorney General, and other agencies as the Commission deems appropriate, shall promulgate regulations restricting the sale and purchase of Social Security numbers and any unfair or deceptive acts or practices in connection with the sale and purchase of Social Security numbers.

(2) LIMITATIONS ON RESTRICTIONS- In promulgating such regulations, the Commission shall impose restrictions and conditions on the sale and purchase of Social Security numbers that are no broader than necessary--

(A) to provide reasonable assurance that Social Security numbers will not be used to commit or facilitate fraud, deception, or crime; and

(B) to prevent an undue risk of bodily, emotional, or financial harm to individuals.

For purposes of subparagraph (B), the Commission shall consider the nature, likelihood, and severity of the anticipated harm; the nature, likelihood, and extent of any benefits that could be realized from the sale or purchase of the numbers; and any other relevant factors.

(3) EXCEPTIONS- The regulations promulgated pursuant to paragraph (1) shall include exceptions which permit the sale and purchase of Social Security numbers--

(A) to the extent necessary for law enforcement or national security purposes;

(B) to the extent necessary for public health purposes;

(C) to the extent necessary in emergency situations to protect the health or safety of 1 or more individuals;

(D) to the extent necessary for research conducted for the purpose of advancing public knowledge, on the condition that the researcher provides adequate assurances that--

(i) the Social Security numbers will not be used to harass, target, or publicly reveal information concerning any identifiable individuals;

(ii) information about identifiable individuals obtained from the research will not be used to make decisions that directly affect the rights, benefits, or privileges of specific individuals; and

(iii) the researcher has in place appropriate safeguards to protect the privacy and confidentiality of any information about identifiable individuals;

(E) to the extent consistent with an individual's voluntary and affirmative written consent to the sale or purchase of a Social Security number that has been assigned to that individual;

(F) to the extent necessary for legitimate consumer credit verification, if the Social Security numbers used for such verification are redacted in accordance with uniform redaction standards established by the Commission in such regulations; and

(G) under other appropriate circumstances as the Commission may determine and as are consistent with the principles in paragraph (2).

(c) Rulemaking-

(1) DEADLINE FOR ACTION- Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commission shall promulgate the regulations under subsection (b) of this section, in accordance with section 553 of title 5, United States Code.

(2) EFFECTIVE DATES- Subsection (a) and the regulations promulgated under subsection (b) shall take effect 30 days after the date on which the final regulations issued under this section are published in the Federal Register.

(d) Enforcement- Any violation of a regulation promulgated under subsection (b) of this section shall be treated as a violation of a regulation under section 18(a)(1)(B) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 57a(a)(1)(B)) regarding unfair or deceptive acts or practices.

(e) Administration and Enforcement-

(1) THE COMMISSION- The Commission shall prevent any person from violating this section, and any regulation promulgated thereunder, in the same manner, by the same means, and with the same jurisdiction, powers, and duties as though all applicable terms and provisions of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.) were incorporated into and made a part of this Act. Any person who violates such regulation shall be subject to the penalties and entitled to the privileges and immunities provided in the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.) as though all applicable terms and provisions of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.) were incorporated into and made a part of this Act. Nothing contained in this Act shall be construed to limit the authority of the Commission under any other provision of law.

(2) ACTIONS BY STATES-

(A) CIVIL ACTIONS- In any case in which the attorney general of a State has reason to believe that an interest of the residents of that State has been or is threatened or adversely affected by an act or practice that violates any regulation of the Commission promulgated under subsection (b), the State, as parens patriae, may bring a civil action on behalf of the residents of the State in a district court of the United States of appropriate jurisdiction, to--

(i) enjoin that act or practice;

(ii) enforce compliance with the regulation;

(iii) obtain civil penalties in an amount of $11,000 per violation not to exceed a total of $5,000,000; or

(iv) obtain such other legal and equitable relief as the district court may consider to be appropriate.

Before filing an action under this subsection, the attorney general of the State involved shall provide to the Commission and to the Attorney General a written notice of that action and a copy of the complaint for that action. If the State attorney general determines that it is not feasible to provide the notice described in this subparagraph before the filing of the action, the State attorney general shall provide the written notice and the copy of the complaint to the Commission and to the Attorney General as soon after the filing of the complaint as practicable.

(B) COMMISSION AND ATTORNEY GENERAL AUTHORITY- On receiving notice under subparagraph (A), the Commission and the Attorney General each shall have the right--

(i) to move to stay the action, pending the final disposition of a pending Federal matter as described in subparagraph (c);

(ii) to intervene in an action under clause (I);

(iii) upon so intervening, to be heard on all matters arising therein; and

(iv) to file petitions for appeal.

(C) PENDING CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS- If the Attorney General has instituted a criminal proceeding or the Commission has instituted a civil action for a violation of this Act or any regulations thereunder, no State may, during the pendency of such proceeding or action, bring an action under this section against any defendant named in the criminal proceeding or civil action for any violation of this section that is alleged in that proceeding or action.

(D) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION- For purposes of bringing any civil action under subparagraph (A), nothing in this Act shall be construed to prevent an attorney general of a State from exercising the powers conferred on the attorney general by the laws of that State to conduct investigations, administer oaths and affirmations, or compel the attendance of witnesses or the production of documentary and other evidence.

(E) VENUE; SERVICE OF PROCESS- Any action brought under this section may be brought in any district court of the United States that meets applicable requirements relating to venue under section 1391 of title 28, United States Code. In an action brought under this section, process may be served in any district in which the defendant is an inhabitant or may be found.

SEC. 4. EFFECT ON OTHER LAWS.

This Act supersedes any provision of a statute, regulation, or rule of a State or political subdivision of a State that expressly restricts or prohibits the sale or purchase of Social Security numbers in a manner consistent with the regulations promulgated under section 3(b).

Repectfully submitted,

Sen. valiant2 (D-CO)

Co-sponsors:

Rep. nvnf (D-NY)
Rep. nicvaliant (D-MA)
Rep. nic2 (R-TX)
Rep. nicvaliant2 (R-CA)
Bill Author: valiant2 (D-CO)
Lobby Groups:
Aye: 141
Nay: 24
Present: 30

Representatives voting Aye:
FVPXXII (R-AL)
Don Young (R-AK)
Arthur Jensen (D-AZ)
murrayhead (R-AZ)
mmartin2 (R-AZ)
Theying (R-AR)
Michael Wong (D-CA)
Ace Frehley (R-CA)
Ed Doe (D-CA)
dbrown (D-CA)
paragonCA (D-CA)
Buffy, Duopoly Slayer (G-CA)
nicvaliant2 (R-CA)
Ronald Goatse 2 (R-CA)
Matthew Faustini CA (R-CA)
jordaneldridge (D-CA)
Corey D. Bowen (C-CA)
george yamamoto (D-CA)
John Marshall (D-CA)
Hamilton (C-CA)
giorgio_25 (D-CA)
GoldenBoy (D-CA)
Ralph Allen (R-CA)
Robert McHale (R-CA)
Dr. 7man (L-CA)
Matthew Faustini CO (R-CO)
Gibson2 (R-CO)
ace020285 (R-CT)
Elbert Carvel (D-DE)
Peter Criss (R-FL)
Matthew Faustini (R) (R-FL)
Claude Pepper (D-FL)
Chas Diaz (D-FL)
Tyron Charr (R-FL)
Andrew "Gator" Min (R-FL)
paragon FL (D-FL)
Wingding Unison (R-FL)
Ninja Warrior (R-FL)
Johnny Isaakson (R-GA)
calvinjohnson (R-GA)
Richard Heying (L-GA)
Greengrich (C-GA)
dkuo11 (R-GA)
Ed Ha (D-HI)
Fred Patton (R-IL)
NebulaIL (D-IL)
cubsfan67 (D-IL)
Bughouse Concierge (G-IL)
MichaelV.Illinois (D-IL)
barnabyhamel (D-IL)
Corey D. Bowen I (C-IL)
David Wetzel (L-IL)
james kirk (R-IN)
Rep Andrew Min IN (R-IN)
dzgIN (C-IN)
worldleader (D-IA)
Chris Vrenna (D-KS)
George Docking (D-KS)
FVPXX (R-KY)
NebulaKY (D-KY)
Bob Hecklemeyer (L-KY)
Bob Babineaux (D-LA)
mmartin (R-LA)
Tim Allen (R-LA)
DGM2 (D-LA)
Saul Williams (D-ME)
Dr. McBell (L-MD)
lordjeebus (D-MD)
Ed Ma (D-MA)
Jose Bove (G-MA)
nicvaliant (D-MA)
Rob (D-MA)
Bernard O'Higgins (D-MI)
DeroyalGop2 (R-MI)
Teddy R (G-MI)
Eleria (D-MI)
Anders (R-MN)
mj (D-MN)
Gooz (R-MS)
Crimson Cardinal (R-MO)
Rep. Mitchell Davis (R-MO)
Jimmy Peters (G-MO)
Bindlestiff (R-MT)
Joe Dirt (R-NE)
Jackpot Kennedy (D-NV)
Seth Gibson (R-NH)
Ed Hudson (D-NJ)
Chas Andrews (D-NJ)
paragonNJ (D-NJ)
Fast1432 (R-NJ)
DarkGamemaster (D-NM)
NebulaNY (D-NY)
Bigone (D-NY)
nvnf (D-NY)
Nescafe (G-NY)
Kevin Davidson (D-NY)
Corey D. Bowen II (C-NY)
Mbenjamin5 (D-NY)
Constance Monroe (R-NY)
Rep Andrew Min NC (R-NC)
Hoosa Daddio (R-NC)
Amazin (R-NC)
Locust Sang (D-ND)
Aidan Oriana (G-OH)
Myers Cooper (R-OH)
Marq'd4Death (R-OH)
Roosevelt (G-OH)
William Bailey (G-OR)
Bigone2 (D-PA)
Nebula PA (D-PA)
Stephen Colbert (R-PA)
dzgPA (C-PA)
ClarenceThomas (G-PA)
Elliot (D-RI)
Stetson Kennedy II (D-SC)
Lord ECK (D-SD)
Paul Stanley (R-TN)
FVPXXIII (R-TN)
Chas Atkins (D-TN)
Osmosis Fragment (R-TN)
Elizabeth Rivera (D-TX)
Bigone4 (D-TX)
George Allen (R-TX)
Russell (R-TX)
nic2 (R-TX)
Cowboy Min (R-TX)
Matthew Faustini TX (R-TX)
dzgTX (C-TX)
Corey D. Bowen III (C-TX)
dfa (C-TX)
Hubert Farnsworth (R-UT)
Crimson Utah (R-UT)
Malashaan (D-VT)
Chas Robb (D-VA)
Crimson Cavalier (R-VA)
dzeggetai (D-WA)
Razor Clam (R-WA)
RoB-WV (R-WV)
Bigone3 (D-WI)
dzgWI (C-WI)
Raznkn (D-WY)

Representatives voting Nay:
Thud (D-AL)
Bubba (D-AR)
George Clooney (D-CA)
Lord Blackadder (D-CO)
Elvish Magi CO (D-CO)
bkct (D-CT)
Brad Brunell (D-FL)
llm (R-FL)
bkin (D-IN)
iamod (D-IA)
bkmn (D-MN)
Elvish Magi MS (D-MS)
bkmo (D-MO)
Baldrickus (D-NY)
Parasite (D-NC)
Mark Campbell (D-OH)
case (R-OH)
Elvish Magi OK (D-OK)
Oral Roberts (D-OK)
Jason Ramsey (D-TX)
witten (R-TX)
whec (R-VA)
Kneight Bauer, III (D-WA)

Representatives answering "Present":
JoCaVaAL (D-AL)
Trey Grayson (R-AL)
Doc Holliday (D-AZ)
Dr. Stephen Hawking (D-CA)
C Hunt Coulter (D-CA)
Mike Bond FL (D-FL)
tater (R-ID)
JoCaVa6 (D-MD)
K. Gillmor (R-MI)
Arthur Resso (D-MI)
William Jennings Bryan (D-NE)
Swift (R-NM)
Joao (D-NY)
GenJCChristianPatriot (D-NY)
Stendido (D-NY)
EldridgeDemNY (D-NY)
bluedevil (D-NC)
Mike Bond OH (D-OH)
K. DeWine (R-OH)
Jon Q. Publik (D-OR)
David Unger (D-PA)
JoCaVa7 (D-SC)
David Horowitz (R-SC)
Confederate=Traitor (D-TX)
Mike Bond TX (D-TX)
John McPain (R-TX)
JoCaVa5 (D-VA)
Brian Luckett (R-VA)
ReagansRottingCorpse (D-VA)
D. Pryce (R-WI)

Representatives not voting yet:
Mike Jefferson (R-CA)
Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
VoterBoy (L-CA)
Terminator (R-CA)
Thomas E. Watson (D-GA)
Josh w. fortissimus (R-IL)
Lesly Docklin (R-MD)
ConservativeMind (R-MI)
Superfly 2 (R-MI)
edavis (R-NV)
doodle dandy (D-NJ)
TSlatts (L-NJ)
Jack Hansson (R-NY)
Harry Skinner (D-NC)
RepublicanMind (R-PA)
Penguin Smart (D-PA)
Jim Mockerby (R-TX)
Dr. Carl Sagan (D-WA)
Vivien Exartier (D-WV)
Senatora (R-WI)
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