"As Congress and federal regulators consider proposals aimed at reducing the risk of identity theft, a national poll by the Consumer Reports National Research Center reveals that an overwhelming majority of Americans want lawmakers to restrict the use and availability of Social Security numbers by businesses and government agencies. According to the poll, 89 percent of Americans agree that state and federal lawmakers should pass laws restricting the use of Social Security numbers. Social Security numbers are particularly sensitive information because they can provide the key to unlocking a consumerís financial identity...Consumers Union released the poll results in comments filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which is studying the collection and use of Social Security numbers by the private sector. Several pending congressional proposals would restrict the sale, purchase, and display of Social Security numbers. Consumers Union recommends that the sale and purchase of the numbers be tightly restricted and that solicitation be prohibited except where required by law or where needed for credit, employment, tax compliance, or investment purposes."