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New York Tightens Protections on Social Security Numbers

A person may not be required to disclose or furnish his or her Social Security Number (SSN) for any purpose under a new law signed by New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo. The new law safeguarding SSNs applies to employers and certain other entities in the state and becomes effective December 12, 2012. Businesses must review their practices with employees, customers and other individuals in situations where all or a part of the Social Security Number is involved. The law does not provide for a private right of action; the State Attorney General enforces it. A civil penalty of not more the $500 per violation may be imposed for a first offense, $1,000 for a second offense. However, the law suggests that so long as reasonable measures have been adopted to avoid a violation, unintentional, bona fide errors will not result in penalties.

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