Commercial Law – General Regulatory Provisions

Consumer Empowerment and Identity Theft Prevention Act of 2006

SECTION 6-48-8

§ 6-48-8. Social security number protection – Effective January 1, 2008.

(a) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section a person or entity, including a state or local agency, may not do any of the following:

(1) Intentionally communicate or otherwise make available to the general public all or part of an individual's social security number;

(2) Print all or part of an individual's social security number on any card required for the individual to access products or services provided by the person or entity;

(3) Require an individual to transmit all or part of his or her social security number over the Internet, unless the connection is secure or the social security number is encrypted;

(4) Require an individual to use all or part of his or her social security number to access an Internet Website, unless a password or unique personal identification number or other authentication device is also required to access the Internet Website; and

(5) Print all or part of an individual's social security number on any materials that are mailed to the individual, unless state or federal law requires the social security number to be on the document to be mailed.

Notwithstanding this paragraph, social security numbers may be included in applications and forms sent by mail, including documents sent as part of an application or enrollment process, or to establish, amend or terminate an account, contract or policy, or to confirm the accuracy of the social security number. A social security number that is permitted to be mailed under this section may not be printed, in whole or in part, on a postcard or other mailer not requiring an envelope, or visible on the envelope or without the envelope having been opened.

(b) The provisions of this section do not apply to documents that are recorded or required to be open to the public pursuant to the Rhode Island general laws chapter 42-46. This section does not apply to records that are by statute or case law required to be made available to the public by entities provided for in the Rhode Island Constitution.

(c) This section does not prevent the collection, use, or release of a social security number as required by state or federal law or the use of a social security number for internal verification or administrative purposes.

(d) The penalties for violating this section shall be:

(1) Any person who violates this section is responsible for the payment of a civil fine of not more than three thousand dollars ($3,000).

(2) A person who knowingly violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than thirty (30) days, or a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or both.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2006, ch. 226, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 270, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 57, § 2; P.L. 2011, ch. 69, § 2.)