PROVIDENCE, R.I.—It would be illegal for Rhode Island businesses to ask for any part of a customer's Social Security number under legislation endorsed by the state Senate.
The Senate voted 35-0 in favor of the bill Tuesday. A similar bill is pending in the House.
The state already prohibits businesses from asking for a person's entire Social Security number. The new legislation would stop businesses from using partial Social Security numbers -- most commonly the last four digits -- to identify customers or create customer passwords. Businesses that run credit checks on customers would be exempted.
The bill's sponsor is Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio, a North Providence Democrat. Ruggerio says the bill would protect privacy and make it harder for criminals to commit identity theft.