Social Security Numbers: Internet Resellers Provide Few Full SSNs, but Congress Should Consider Enacting Standards for Truncating SSNs, Full-text report GAO-06-495, and Highlights, May 17, 2006.
“According to experts we spoke to, there are few federal laws and no specific industry standards on whether to display the first five or last four digits of the SSN, and SSA officials told us the agency does not have the authority to regulate how other public or private entities use SSNs, including how they are truncated. We could not determine if federal privacy laws were applicable to the Internet resellers because such laws depend on the type of entity and the source of information, and most of the resellers’ Web sites did not include this information. However, these laws could apply to resellers; 4 of the resellers we examined had Web sites identifying the type of entity they were. About one-half of the resellers cited adherence to one or more federal privacy laws and a few referenced state laws.”