Texas Privacy laws & HR compliance analysis

Texas Privacy: What you need to know

Common law. The legal claim of invasion of privacy is made up of four distinct theories. Texas recognizes three of the four, intrusion upon solitude or seclusion, public disclosure of private facts (e.g., unreasonable publicity given to one's private life), and appropriation of one's name or likeness. Although several lower courts and federal courts interpreting Texas law have recognized false light invasion of privacy, the Texas Supreme Court has so far declined to recognize the claim (Cain v. Hearst Corp., 878 S.W. 2d 577 (Tex. 1994)).
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Social Security numbers (SSNs). State law prohibits employers from intentionally communicating or making an individual's SSN available to the general public. The law also prohibits the following:
• The display of an individual's SSN on a card or other device required to access a product or service provided by the person;
• Requiring an individual to transmit the individual's SSN over the Internet, unless the Internet connection is secure or the number is encrypted;
• Requiring an individual's SSN for access to an Internet website, unless a password or unique personal identification number or other authentication device is also required for access; or
• Printing an individual's SSN on any materials sent by mail, except for an application or form sent as part of an application or enrollment process, to establish, amend, or terminate an account, contract, or policy, or to confirm the accuracy of an SSN (Tex. Bus. & Com. Code § 501.001).
An employer may not deny services to an individual because the individual makes a written request for privacy of his or her Social Security information.
Biometric identifiers. An individual’s biometric ...

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