The New Florida Electronic Notary Law Would Use Your Social Security Number for Identification

So today I’m reading House Bill 409 that the 2019 Florida Legislature passed and sent to the Governor to sign. It would allow a notary public to notarize your signature by watching you on screen (think FaceTime, Skype, etc.).

Obviously, there’s lots of room for fraud when you’re not in the same room as the notary. So, how will they protect you from someone using one of those augmented reality copies of your image and voice to make it look like you’re the one signing and it’s not some avatar? The answer is: they plan to use your Social Security Number.

Really. It’s right there on line 1101 of the bill. The notary must ask you a series of questions. The questions come from public and private databases. How do they tie you to an entry in a database? Why, by your Social Security Number, of course. Here’s what is says:

“Each question must be drawn from a third-party provider of public and proprietary data sources and be identifiable to the principal’s social security number or other identification information, or the principal’s identity and historical events records.”

So, in this day and age, when we are seeking greater privacy protection from Facebook, Google, and other online service providers, what is the way that electronic notaries will protect us from fraud? This bill says by accessing databases using our Social Security Numbers.

This seems like the wrong direction. Doesn’t it?


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