Are CPNs Legal?
Everybody has the right to keep their Social Security Number private. The only time you cannot provide your CPN when an SSN is requested is if the Internal Revenue Service asks, employers, for any mortgage loans, a federally insured loan or purchasing a firearm. (according to the FBI.gov website)
You can, however, provide your CPN in all other cases such as building credit, an apartment lease, or any other instances other than a government agency such as a creditor.
CPNs are commonly used by members of Congress, celebrities, victims of identity fraud, those in a witness protection program or those simply wanting to protect their SSN.
If you look at the above examples, the commonality is that they all want to protect their SSN for being misused. A member of Congress wouldn't want the media or a political enemy having access to their credit or SSN. Celebrities use for anonymity. Victims of identity fraud don't want their SSN information in the hands of people just trying to get loans/credit under their name.
There are black markets that sell this information and is a growing market, unfortunately. Someone in the witness protection program in fear of their life would not want their SSN as you can track someone with this which CPNs are harder to.
CPNS are a great legal way to protect yourself and your SSN.
Why do CPNs get a bad rep?
CPNs have a bad reputation or a negative connotation as being illegal, fraud, or scammy. You can't even search CPN number or SCN number on Google without fraud or scam auto-populating. CPNs are perfectly legal according to Title 5, Section 7 of Publication Law 93-579 of Government Organization and Employees Act. What is illegal can be how you intend on using it.
For example, if you obtain a CPN for the purpose of taking out loans or credit cards and not intending to pay them back then of course you are committing fraud. According to the FBI.gov website, it states that you are responsible for any debt incurred under a CPN. Sounds corny but use the analogy of a gun. Guns are not illegal but what is illegal is how you intend on using the gun. Use the CPN for your protection and just have the self-discipline not to use it for any negative purposes.
Freddie Mac's Definition of; "What is a CPN?"
The CPN is a nine-digit identification number that looks like a social security number (SSN) and may be used in lieu of an SSN, for such purposes as obtaining credit.
One has the legal right to keep his/her SSN private. In certain circumstances, consumers are required by law to disclose their SSN, such as to the Internal Revenue Service, employers, when registering a motor vehicle, buying a firearm, or applying for a federally insured loan.
In other circumstances, federal law allows consumers to legally use a separate identification number, hence the opportunity to establish a CPN for a credit file.
CPNs are commonly used by celebrities, members of Congress, and witnesses protected by the federal government to help protect their privacy and security.
⋙FREDDIE MAC WEBSITE "WHAT IS A CPN?"
Wiki Answers; Definition of; "CPN Numbers and Legal CPN."
The CPN is a nine-digit number that has the exact same genetic makeup of a Social Security Number. This is not a government issued number like an EIN or TIN. This number is NOT a new social and NOT a tax ID or EIN. It is simply an available file number at the credit bureaus that can have financial information reported. You have the right to establish this number only once, so do not abuse it. This explanation is not here to advise anyone to misrepresent your Social Security Number, as you are completely responsible for any debts you incur using your Credit Privacy Number. It is your legal right to keep your Social Security Number private, and use a separate number for any credit related purposes. You are only required by law to disclose your Social Security Number to the Internal Revenue Service, your employer, when registering a motor vehicle, buying a firearm, or applying and obtaining a federally-insured loan such as FHA, Sallie Mae, etc. I encourage you to use the laws to your advantage. Each credit bureau works on a different schedule. In addition, the CPN is used by celebrities, congress members/government workers, and witness protection reasons. For example, celebrities use it because the media can use their SS# to track what they are buying and where they are simply by tracking their credit cards. Further, in example, congress holds special privileges to the law; therefore, their privacy needs to be protected. In another example, witnesses under protection can be located if they use their true social security number for transaction. This is the reason why there is the existence of a Credit Privacy Number program. Legality of the CPN: Presently, federal law allows the ability for someone to legally use a private ID # for financial reporting purposes instead of a Social Security Number.
Title 5, Section 7 of Publication Law 93-579 of Government Organization and Employees Act: ...(a) (1) It shall be unlawful for any Federal, State or Local Government Agency to deny any individual any right, benefit, or privilege provided by law because of such individual's refusal to disclose his or her's Social Security Account Number. The law states that No federal, state, or local government agency may deny you any right, privilege or benefit due to your refusal to provide your SS # for any other reason than producing money for retirement account with the Social Security Administration, the IRS and your employer today. Credit Bureaus are not legally allowed to "require" your Social Security Number. In our country's present credit reporting system a person may be assumed guilty and then must expend a great deal of time and resources to prove his or her innocence. Additionally, once a negative item is in a credit file it may remain long past the 7 year time period most people believe is used. Additionally, a misreported item can show up in a credit report multiple times. When it comes to credit, banking and loans, there are two things you must know. The first relates to the law pertaining to the usage of your social security number as an identification tool. The second, credit bureaus are private companies and are not affiliated with the government in any way, whatsoever. Although, the credit bureaus would like you to think otherwise. ---What all this means is Federal Law protects those who do not wish to disclose their personal information (SS#) except when required to do so. All that to say: Instead of a Social Security Number, with the right planning, you now have the opportunity to establish a Credit Privacy Number (CPN), as it is your right to have one.
⋙WIKI ANSWERS WEBSITE - "CPN NUMBERS AND LEGAL CPN"