Social Security Number Access Being Eyed
By BRIAN BERGSTEIN AP Technology Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- Recent disclosures of massive data leaks at
information brokers, banks and retailers have prompted Congress to
once again consider tightening access to Social Security numbers,
which have evolved into dangerous master keys for fraudsters.
But Social Security numbers already have come under a hodgepodge of
restrictions over the years, and many experts question whether the new
proposals would truly hinder identity theft.
In fact, reducing some companies' access to Social Security numbers
could even worsen the situation.
Several identity theft watchdogs say the bills would neglect the
deeper reason why financial fraud is relatively easy: Speed, not
identity assurance, is the main priority of U.S. financial
institutions that issue credit.
To be sure, the fact that many companies use Social Security numbers
essentially as a password _ not only are they the key to getting
credit, they can also unlock access to an account over the phone _
magnifies the problem. That's why Congress hopes to hide the numbers
better _ by reducing the ways they can be sold, for example, or by
prohibiting them from being printed on benefit checks.
Even so, keeping the numbers and other personal data out of the wrong
hands likely will remain tricky.
- ID Theft Task Force Urges Tough Penalties
... agencies on Monday to help protect consumers by ceasing unnecessary ... The identity theft prevention task force, ... Social Security cards and birth certificates to illegal ...
- U.S. Federal Trade Commission Issues its Report on Identity Theft and Use of Social Security Numbers
... The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has just issued its report on Identity Theft which incorporates recommendations that effect the use of Social Security Numbers: to federal agencies, state and local governments' use of Social Security Numbers, addressing private sector use of Social Security Numbers and establishing a clearinghouse for "best" agency practices for using Social Security Numbers among ... There is also a 90 page supplement which lists the remedies the FTC is proposing addressing a number of acts that effect identity theft. ... The IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee submitted a written statement in January stating while we support the efforts to protect Americans from identity theft we also stated we wanted the Task Force to permit continued access to death certificates and other necessary records which do not negatively impact the desire or need to protect the lives of the living. ... Genealogy is not only a hobby of millions of people, it assists in tracing family medical problems that are passed on from generation to generation, and these records are required in order to help determine certain genetic traits that ancestors may have also had. ...
- My Social Security number is 457-55-5462 says Todd Davis, CEO of LifeLock. Or SOCIALIST SLAV
... LifeLock. ... he's so sure he can stop identity theft, ... advertising his Social Security number. ... security exists because social security card numbers exist. ...
- Legislation aims to end identity theft
... Legislation aims to end identity theft ... government agencies to notify people if personal information is lost ... another in May 2006 involving birth dates and Social Security numbers ...
- Re: Medicare ID & social security number
... It is surprising that Medicare uses the Social Security Number as its ... cost me nearly nothing), ... age of identity theft, I don't cotton to it at all. ...