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Revealed Social Security Numbers Sets Off Furor

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A consumer advocate says he´s amazed by the furor he set off when he revealed part of the Social Security numbers of eight California legislators who failed to support a financial privacy bill.

Jamie Court´s organization, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, listed the first four digits of the lawmakers´ Social Security numbers on its Web site after the Assembly Banking and Finance Committee rejected a bill designed to protect consumers´ financial information. Court says he was trying to show lawmakers how easily someone´s privacy can be violated.

But one lawmaker says the action borders on extortion and plans to ask the attorney general and the Legislature´s attorney if any laws were broken.