(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, a business may not do any of the following:
(1) Intentionally communicate or otherwise make available to the general public an individual's social security number.
(2) Intentionally print or imbed 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 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 his or her social security number to access an Internet Web site, unless a password or unique personal identification number or other authentication device is also required to access the Internet Web site.
(5) Print 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.
(6) Sell, lease, loan, trade, rent, or otherwise intentionally disclose an individual's social security number to a third party without written consent to the disclosure from the individual, when the party making the disclosure knows or in the exercise of reasonable diligence would have reason to believe that the third party lacks a legitimate purpose for obtaining the individual's social security number.
(b) Subsection (a) of this section shall not apply in the following instances:
(1) When a social security number is included in an application or in documents related to an enrollment process, or to establish, amend, or terminate an account, contract, or policy; or to confirm the accuracy of the social security number for the purpose of obtaining a credit report pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1681(b)(2). 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.
(2) To the collection, use, or release of a social security number for internal verification or administrative purposes.
(3) To the opening of an account or the provision of or payment for a product or service authorized by an individual.
(4) To the collection, use, or release of a social security number to 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 Gramm Leach Bliley, 12 C.F.R. 216.13-15, or locate an individual who is missing, a lost relative, or due a benefit, such as a pension, insurance, or unclaimed property benefit.
(5) To a business acting pursuant to a court order, warrant, subpoena, or when otherwise required by law.
(6) To a business providing the social security number to a federal, state, or local government entity, including a law enforcement agency, court, or their agents or assigns.
(7) To a social security number that has been redacted.
(c) A business covered by this section shall make reasonable efforts to cooperate, through systems testing and other means, to ensure that the requirements of this Article are implemented.
(d) A violation of this section is a violation of G.S. 75-1.1. (2005-414, s. 1.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014