Social Security Card Demand

Discussion in 'Ga. County Licensing Information' started by Malum Prohibitum, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    As we know, Fulton demands one's social security card, in spite of the fact that the standard state forms contain no place for the social security card information.

    Would 5 USC 552a affect this policy?

    Section 7 of the Federal Privacy Act (5 USC 552a note) is an "uncodified" public law (whatever that means :roll: it is really just an error in how it was inserted in the lawbooks, i.e., in the historical notes instead of into the text of the statute - they ought to correct it) and states, in it's entirety:

    Sec. 7 (a)(1) It shall be unlawful for any Federal, State or local government agency to deny to any individual any right, benefit, or privilege provided by law because of such individual's refusal to disclose his social security account number.

    (2) the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply with respect to--
    (A) any disclosure which is required by Federal statute, or
    (B) any disclosure of a social security number to any Federal, State, or local agency maintaining a system of records in existence and operating before January 1, 1975, if such disclosure was required under statute or regulation adopted prior to such date to verify the identity of an individual.
    (b) Any Federal, State or local government agency which requests an individual to disclose his social security account number shall inform that individual whether that disclosure is mandatory or voluntary, by what statutory or other authority such number is solicited, and what uses will be made of it.



    The purpose being related in the following federal case:


    In response to growing concerns over the accumulation of massive amounts of personal information, Congress passed the Privacy Act of 1974. This Act makes it unlawful for a governmental agency to deny a right, benefit, or privilege merely because the individual refuses to disclose his SSN. In addition, Section 7 of the Privacy Act further provides that any agency requesting an individual to disclose his SSN must "inform that individual whether that disclosure is mandatory or voluntary, by what statutory authority such number is solicited, and what uses will be made of it."

    . . .

    Further Congressional recognition of the privacy concerns is evident from § 7 of the Privacy Act which prohibits the denial of any right, benefit, or privilege by a governmental agency because of an individual's refusal to disclose his SSN.

    Greidinger v. Davis, 988 F.2d 1344 (4th Cir. 1993). This case involved the denial of voter registration in Virginia unless the person registering to vote provided a social security number. The court comments that Virginia's scheme would probably be ok of nobody else could view the social security number (see n.10).




    I wonder, is Fulton doing all these things required under the Act? I bet not.
     
  2. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    The Eleventh Circuit, here in Atlanta, has had this to say on the issue (also a voter registration case):

    . . . the Privacy Act clearly confers a legal right on individuals: the right to refuse to disclose his or her ssn without suffering the loss "of any right, benefit, or privilege provided by law." 88 Stat. at 2194. Thus, we conclude that Congress created an "unambiguously conferred right" in section 7 of the Privacy Act.

    . . .

    . . . the language, "It shall be unlawful" is mandatory rather than precatory. These words indicate a clear prohibition of specific behavior by Federal, State or local government rather than an "aspirational" goal or "yardstick."

    . . .

    . . . and we hold that the rights conferred by section 7 may be enforced under § 1983.



    Schweir v. Cox, 340 F.3d 1284 (11th Cir. 2003).

    The court remanded to the district court to determine whether the grandfathering exception applied to Georgia's law and whether the notice requirements were met. The district court opinion is not published.
     

  3. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry for such a long and tedious post, but I thought you Fulton County people applying for licenses might want to have access to this information.
     
  4. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    Yes, if your SSN is not required to buy a gun then what gives them the ability to demand the actual card?

    Malum, Also notice the strange coincidence that Fulton and DeKalb are the only 2 counties that require your SS card and are also the only 2 counties that take 6 months to issue.
     
  5. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, people, do DeKalb and Fulton make any disclosures? I have not applied in either county.

    Disclosures:

    (1) Do they inform you whether disclosure is mandatory or voluntary?

    (2) Do they inform you of the statutory authority for them to demand your card?

    (3) Do they inform you of the uses that will be made of your number?

    (4) Also - do they record it or just look at it? What do they do? Please sound off.

    :eek:
     
  6. Taler

    Taler New Member

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    No, no, no.
     
  7. Broadside Bob

    Broadside Bob New Member

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    In DeKalb...

    (1) The deinitely told me that I MUST bring the SS card to the courthouse.

    In response to #2 and #3, "no."
     
  8. phillipsmike

    phillipsmike New Member

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    Dekalb 45 Days

    I received my license in Dekalb county in 45 days a couple years ago. I simply sent a nice e-mail to a girl there after a month, and she replied, and had the license 14 days later. I was not asked for my SS card either.

    Mike
     
  9. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Taler, Broadside Bob, and Phillipsmike, what about number 4 ?
     
  10. Taler

    Taler New Member

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    Hi MP,

    Well, my fading recollection is that it was written down, but not recorded on any form.

    T
     
  11. Broadside Bob

    Broadside Bob New Member

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    What did they do with my SS card?

    I think they recorded the number, but honestly I didn't pay too much attention. Guess I just assumed that the law required it, and they needed it for a lawful purpose.

    I know, stupid me. :oops:
     
  12. dexo54

    dexo54 New Member

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    I receintly applied for my firearms license in Bibb Co. , 18 Nov, and was asked to show my SSN card. I refused but did show them my military ID, I'm retired military, it does have my SSN on it, but as far as I know they didn't write it down.

    I was told it would take 5-6 mo. because of 9-11
     
  13. Manwell

    Manwell New Member

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    While applying recently here in Coweta County I was asked for the number and recited it, it was recorded on my application.

    Manwell
     
  14. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    New Case Just Released

    The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals just released a case yesterday on this social security number disclosure.

    Schwier v. Cathy Cox, No. 05-11428 (11th Cir. Feb. 16, 2006). [This is a continuation of a case I cited above] It is too new yet for a traditional number, but I will update the cite later.

    Anyway, three voters were turned away when they refused to disclose their SSN when registering to vote. They sued. They lost. They appealed. They won. They went back to the district court and filed a motion for summary judgment. They won. Cathy Cox (Georgia Secretary of State) appealed. State of Georgia lost.


    The District Court stated that since Georgia did not require all voters to disclose their ssn on January 1, 1975, the grandfather clause did not apply and the denial of registration for failing to disclose a social security number violated the Privacy Act. Does anybody know whether the State of Georgia was requiring social security numbers for firearms licenses in 1975? Can anybody find out?

    From the District Court opinion:
    However, a state or local agency may require disclosure of one's SSN, consistent with the Privacy Act, if the state or local agency “maintain a system of records [that was] in existence and operating before January 1, 1975, [and] such disclosure was required under statute or regulation adopted prior to such date to verify the identity of an individual." (privacy act citation omitted).

    The burden is on the defendant, not the firearm applicant, to show that it meets this grandfather exception, but I would still like to know the answer. It is also doubtful whether there were records kept . . . "maintained a system of records that was in existence and operating before January 1, 1975." Even assuming that there was such a system in operation, then it still must be shown that it was required that the ssn be disclosed.

    The District Court stated, "Finally, the Court understands defendant's genuine need for the disclosure of SSNs for voter registrants in order to help prevent voter fraud. Yet, consistent with the order of remand by the Eleventh Circuit, this Court cannot allow that which the Privacy Act prohibits, no matter how great the need may seem to be."
     
  15. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Notification

    . . . section 7(b) of the Privacy Act requires that any state or local government agency “which requests an individual to disclose his social security account number [ ] inform that individual whether that disclosure is mandatory or voluntary, by what statutory or other authority such number is solicited, and what uses will be made of it.â€

    . . .

    As the Court has determined that Georgia does not qualify for the “grandfather†exception, Georgia's voter registration forms cannot instruct applicants that disclosure of their SSNs is mandatory, i.e., required. The forms may request such disclosure, but the request must indicate that disclosure is voluntary.
     
  16. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Now that Georgia cannot condition voter registration on the disclosure of one's SSN, defendant must decide whether to request such disclosure on a voluntary basis in its redrafted forms. If defendant so decides, she must consider the language of section 7(b) in drafting the new forms and instructions. For example, the forms must reflect the fact that disclosure of one's SSN is indeed voluntary. The forms must also indicate under what authority-whether statutory or otherwise-such disclosure is sought. Finally, all uses contemplated for the SSNs must be disclosed. Plaintiffs here argue that the current forms neglect to inform voter applicants that other state agencies may have access to their SSNs. In redrafting, defendant may consider a more detailed instruction, such as that if the SSN is provided, it will remain confidential and subject to disclosure only as provided for in O.C.G.A. § 21-2-225. The Court leaves the responsibility for redrafting the forms and their instructions to defendant.
     
  17. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Plaintiffs also argue that defendant violated the Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1971(a)(2)(B), in denying plaintiffs the right to register to vote for failing to provide their SSNs. Section 1971 provides that


    No person acting under color of law shall deny the right of any individual to vote in any election because of an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any application, registration, or other act requisite to voting, if such error or omission is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified under State law to vote in such election.

    42 U.S.C.A. § 1971(a)(2)(B). Plaintiffs argue that an individual is qualified to vote under Georgia law if he is a United States citizen, a Georgia resident, at least 18 years of age, not incompetent, and not a felon. Therefore, according to plaintiffs, disclosing one's SSN-or even having an SSN-is not material in determining whether one is qualified to vote under Georgia law.

    Defendant argues that SSNs are material because they help prevent registering and voting fraud. As noted, the Court agrees with defendant that requiring disclosure of a registrant's SSN could help to prevent voter fraud. Yet, disclosing one's SSN cannot be material in determining whether that person is qualified to vote under Georgia law, if Georgia is not permitted to require this disclosure. Georgia cannot, consistent with the Privacy Act, mandate that one registering to vote disclose his SSN. Georgia, therefore, cannot deny a voter applicant the right to vote because that person declined to disclose information-his SSN-the State cannot require. The Court concludes that defendant did in fact violate the Voting Rights Act in denying plaintiffs the right to register to vote because they refused to disclose their SSNs.
     
  18. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    I think a couple of probate courts need to know about this.
     
  19. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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