This week in public records: Alaska Social Security number protection

Alaska is purported to have instituted one of the strongest identity theft protection laws through HB 25.

Although the bill sets out restrictions on the collection, sale and distribution to third parties of Social Security numbers, the exceptions should cover the normal course of business for private investigators.

A transfer of an individual’s social security number for the sole purpose of identifying a person about whom a report or database check is ordered, received, or provided is not a sale, lease, loan, trade, or rental of a social security number under this section.

Providing your clients an individual’s social security number is permitted if the purpose is regulated by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Modernization Act or by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Disclosure is permissible if it’s “for a background check on the individual, identity verification, fraud prevention, medical treatment, law enforcement or other government purposes, or the individual’s employment, including employment benefits.”

Also, the police department may create a database of identity theft victims. If it does, it “shall provide a victim or the victim’s authorized representative access to a data base established under this section to establish that the individual has been a victim of identity theft. Access to the a data base established under this section is limited to criminal justice agencies, victims of identity theft, and individuals and agencies authorized by the victims.”

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