Recently Rhode Island enacted new legislation which aims to protect consumers. Specifically, the law prohibits recording credit card or social security numbers on checks, and generally prohibits anyone from requiring a consumer of goods or services to disclose all or part of their social security number incident to the sale of such goods or services, provided, however, that consumers may be required to disclose all or part of their social security number if required by federal law, or if such disclosure is required by insurance companies, financial service institutions, health care, and credit card companies. Additionally, the law prohibits anyone from requiring consumers to furnish all or part of their social security number as a condition before applying for a consumer discount card.

TIP:   The new law, effective immediately, now prohibits companies from requiring the last four digits of a consumer’s social security number as previously permitted under the old law.