The grassroots organization FreedomWorks made a discovery last week that has heads spinning. Buried deep within a 630-page Senate housing legislation bill by Senator Christopher J. Dodd, former Democratic presidential candidate, is a provision that would affect the privacy not only of small businesses in America, but of the buying habits of nearly every electronic transaction. And where would it go? Straight to the federal government.
Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express transactions, as well as payment systems including eBay, PayPal, Amazon, and Google Checkout would be required to report transactions – including payment card used and even Social Security numbers – to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
“At a time when concerns about both identity theft and government spying are paramount, Congress wants to create a new honey pot of private data that includes Social Security Numbers,” FreedomWorks said in a press release. “This bill reduces privacy across America and treats every American small business or eBay power seller like a criminal on parole by requiring an unprecedented level of reporting to the federal government. This outrageous idea is another reason to delay the housing bailout legislation so that Senators and the public at large have time to examine its full implications.”
The stipulations are housed within Amendments to the Senate Amendment H.R. 3221, the Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008. What do our internet buying habits and credit card purchases have to do with a foreclosure prevention bill?
Don’t let this pass you by without putting your two cents in, before it’s too late!! Call Congress and tell them to oppose the eBay reporting provision in the Housing Bill, at 1-866-928-3035. Or, if you prefer to contact them via e-mail or letter, you can do so easily here. Don’t wait!