The Senate Judiciary Committee is apparently interested in moving forward with the so-called TITLE Act (S.1889). The proposed bill would require states to collect personal/private information (including: name, date of birth, address, driver’s license numbers, etc.) from anyone with an ownership stake (i.e., “beneficial ownership”) of small businesses at incorporation; as well as require annual and periodic updates of that information. It has been estimated it will create a new reporting burden for over 5 million small businesses. Failure to comply with this legislation would result in up to 3 years in prison and $1 million in fines.
This bill would also allow the personally identifiable information of business owners submitted to the states to be subpoenaed by Congressional Chairman for any reason, and would allow State’s the authority to publicly post the information. No doubt this information can be used to name and shame small businesses out of political activity. Although, right now the legislation is targeted at “small businesses” if passed it could be a vehicle to extend the same requirements to non-publicly held larger businesses across the United States, for this reason CIRT has joined a coalition of business groups, organizations, and associations voicing strong opposition to creating yet another data bank for outsiders to use or hack for nefarious, criminal, or political purposes. [For details see, Joint Letter on the matter].