Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen
I recently posted about US Senator Sherrod Brown and the "Dear Colleague" letter in which he was requesting other Senators to join him in writing to genealogy websites to remove from their websites the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) also known as the Death Master File (DMF) that had legally purchased and posted. According to the Lake City Journal,
http://tinyurl.com/77fq3ca original url:
the "Dear Colleague letter was sent to genealogy websites by Senators Nelson
(D-FL), Brown (D-OH), Durbin (D-IL) and Stabenow (D-MI).
Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) introduced SB 1534, the Identity Theft and
Tax Fraud Prevention Act See: http://tinyurl.com/75de8o9
This bill has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.
Senator Nelson serves on the Senate Finance Committee.
In addition to addressing tax fraud and establishing penalties, and user id numbers for those who apply about tax fraud, Section 9 (page 6) restricts access to the Death Master File. For the calendar year of the person's death and the calendar year following, disclosure of information on a deceased person listed in the DMF is prohibited unless they are certified. Certification would be done through the Secretary of Commerce and only to those who have a legitimate fraud prevention interest. The Social Security Administration would not be compelled to disclose any person in the DMF that is not certified.
Companion legislation in the House of Representatives are:
HR 3482 by Rep Kathy Castor ( D- FL)
http://tinyurl.com/83p4b4p original url:
This bill has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and the
and HR 3215 by Rep Kathy Castor (D-FL) and Richard Nugent (R-FL)
http://tinyurl.com/7fgsd5s original url
This bill was referred to House Ways and Means Committee.
I don't know why Rep. Castor introduced the bill twice.
Genealogy websites that post the SSDI (the commercial name of the DMF) obtain the information from the Social Security Administration. The reading of this bill as currently written would prevent the websites from obtaining and posting the SSDI during the time frame when certification is required (the calendar year the death of the person occurred and the following
Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee