Chapter 75: State Departments; Public Officers And Employees

Article 35: Public Records

Statute 75-3520: Social security numbers; disclosure in public documents with personal information, prohibited; use for commercial purposes, restricted; civil penalty. (a) (1) Unless required by federal law, no document available for public inspection or copying shall contain an individual's social security number if such document contains such individual's personal information. "Personal information" shall include, but not be limited to, name, address, phone number or e-mail address.

      (2)   The provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply to documents recorded in the official records of any recorder of deeds of the county or to any documents filed in the official records of the court and shall be included, but not limited to, such documents of any records that when filed constitutes:

      (1)   A consensual or nonconsensual lien;

      (2)   an eviction record;

      (3)   a judgment;

      (4)   a conviction or arrest;

      (5)   a bankruptcy;

      (6)   a secretary of state filing; or

      (7)   a professional license.

      (b) (1)   No person, including an individual, firm, corporation, association, partnership, joint venture or other business entity, or any employee or agent therefor, shall solicit, require or use for commercial purposes an individual's social security number unless such number is necessary for such person's normal course of business and there is a specific use for such number for which no other identifying number may be used.

      (2)   Paragraph (1) of this subsection does not apply to documents or records that are recorded or required to be open to the public pursuant to state or federal law, or by court rule or order, and this paragraph does not limit access to these documents or records.

      (3)   Paragraph (1) of this subsection does not apply to the collection, use or release of social security numbers for the following purposes:

      (A)   Mailing of documents that include social security numbers 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;

      (B)   internal verification or administrative purposes;

      (C)   investigate or prevent fraud, conduct background checks, conduct social or scientific research, collect a debt, obtain a credit report from or furnish data to a consumer reporting agency pursuant to the fair credit reporting act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681, et seq., undertake a permissible purpose enumerated under the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act, 15 U.S.C. § 6802 (e), or locate an individual who is missing, a lost relative, or due a benefit, such as pension, insurance or unclaimed property benefit; or

      (D)   otherwise required by state or federal law or regulation.

      (c)   An individual who is aggrieved by a violation of this section may recover a civil penalty of not more than $1,000 for each violation.

      History:   L. 2006, ch. 149, § 2; July 1.