Frequently Asked Legal Questions

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467 views   |   21   |   Last updated on Jun 23, 2015    Consumer Protection

The U.S. Social Security Administration addresses this question on their website. They state:

Anyone can refuse to disclose his or her number, but the requester can refuse its services if you do not give it. Businesses, banks, schools, private agencies, etc., are free to request someone's number and use it for any purpose that does not violate a federal or state law. Sometimes they will issue a different number if you ask.

There are Texas laws in Title 11 of the Business and Commerce Code that deal with a business's duty to protect personally identifying information such as Social Security numbers and driver's license numbers. For example, you may want to read the laws found in chapter 501, Protection of Driver's License and Social Security Numbers. In addition to other protections, these laws require that certain entities adopt a privacy policy if they require an individual to disclose his or her Social Security number. Chapter 501 also includes various remedies available to consumers.

Also in Title 11 is the Identity Theft Enforcement and Protection Act, chapter 521. You may want to review those laws as they deal with the unauthorized use of identifying information.

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