Albuquerque, NM asked in Social Security, Civil Rights and Internet Law for Texas

Q: hello, Can a person get sued for emailing another persons social security info with no permission?

3 Lawyer Answers
John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
  • Frisco, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: It depends on that facts and circumstances whether the person had a duty to treat the other person's social security information as private. An employer or healthcare provider has a duty to keep such information private and cannot email that information to another other than for a permitted use. For example, an employer can email your social security information to his accountant and to the IRS, but cannot broadcast it to customers or its entire employee workforce.

Stephen Johnston
Stephen Johnston pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Pueblo, CO

A: Yes, under New Mexico law, a person could potentially face legal consequences for emailing another person's Social Security number without permission. The law prohibits the intentional communication of a Social Security number to the public, which could potentially include sending it via email without the individual's consent.

The law specifically prohibits making the entirety of a Social Security number available to the public, including intentionally communicating a Social Security number to the public. This could be interpreted to include emailing the number without the individual's consent. Additionally, the law prohibits requiring the use of a Social Security number over the internet without a secure connection or encryption security. This could potentially apply to emailing the number, especially if the email is not sent over a secure connection or without encryption.

Furthermore, the law prohibits transmitting material that associates a Social Security number with an account number for a bank, savings and loan association, or credit union, unless both numbers are required as part of an application or enrollment process or to establish, amend, or terminate an account, contract, or policy or to confirm the accuracy of the number. This could potentially apply if the email included such information.

In conclusion, under New Mexico law, emailing another person's Social Security number without their consent could potentially be considered a violation of the law, depending on the specific circumstances. However, it is important to note that this interpretation is based on the information provided in the legal document

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Emailing someone's Social Security number without their permission may be illegal under various state and federal laws. Here are a few potential legal issues:

1. Identity theft: If the person emailing the SSN does so with the intent to commit identity theft or fraud, they could face criminal charges under federal law (18 U.S.C. § 1028).

2. Invasion of privacy: In some states, sharing someone's private information (such as their SSN) without consent may be considered an invasion of privacy, which could lead to civil liability.

3. Violation of data protection laws: Depending on the context, sharing SSNs might violate data protection laws, such as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which apply to financial institutions and healthcare providers, respectively.

4. Negligence: If the person who shared the SSN had a duty to protect that information (e.g., an employer or a business), they could be sued for negligence if their actions caused harm to the individual.

While it's possible to sue someone for improperly sharing your SSN, the success of the lawsuit would depend on factors such as the intent behind the disclosure, the harm caused, and the specific laws that were violated.

If you believe your SSN has been compromised, you should take steps to protect yourself from identity theft, such as placing a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit reports and monitoring your financial accounts closely.

It's best to consult with a qualified attorney in your jurisdiction for guidance on your specific situation.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.