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Should the SSN no longer be a universal identifier?
Posted by: freeradical
Date: October 04, 2017 03:04PM
IIRC, the SSN was originally only to be used for social security purposes. It even said that on the card!

But now, it has become a universal identifier. You can deny giving your SSN to someone who asks for it, but they can deny you something as well.

In light of Equifax...

Quote

Rob Joyce, the White House cybersecurity czar, said on Tuesday that the government should end using the Social Security number as a national identification method.

"I believe the Social Security number has outlived its usefulness," said Joyce, while speaking at The Washington Post's Cybersecurity Summit. "Every time we use the Social Security number, you put it at risk."

One problem with the Social Security number, he said, is that a victim of identity theft cannot get it changed after it has been stolen.

Joyce's comments come a month after the Equifax hack, in which hackers gained access to the Social Security numbers of as many as 143 million Americans.

"It's a flawed system that we can't roll back after a breach," he said.

The Social Security number, originally a code for federal retirement benefits, has grown to become a personal identifier used for everything from getting a job to buying auto insurance.

[arstechnica.com]
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Re: Should the SSN no longer be a universal identifier?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: October 04, 2017 03:10PM
However, what would replace it? Another number or code that would be used in a similar manner, which itself can then be hacked? That just transfers the issue from one to another.



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Re: Should the SSN no longer be a universal identifier?
Posted by: testcase
Date: October 04, 2017 03:13PM
You recall correctly. I still have my original SS card I received ~ 1967. It CLEARLY states on the face: "FOR SOCIAL SECURITY AND TAX PURPOSES-NOT FOR IDENTIFICATION". old fogey smiley
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Re: Should the SSN no longer be a universal identifier?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: October 04, 2017 03:14PM
It was supposed to be illegal to use it for a 'universal identity card'. In fact, I recall my university getting in trouble in the early 1980's because they used it as our student ID. They just stuck a letter after it to be 'compliant', which was a laugh. I mean, it was posted PUBLICLY on grade sheets... student ID, name, etc, grade... But then... it started appearing everywhere. And now it's a weak point in our information security. Because it was NEVER intended to be what it has become.

So what's a better solution ? And how do we do it without it becoming what it has become... the universal identity... the tracking chip.. the mark of the beast...The Gattaca Corporation...

Fingerprints ? Hackable...
DNA ? Identical twins will have a problem...
Retina Scans ? Hackable.
Public /Private codes ? People like me with memory issues will have problems.
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Re: Should the SSN no longer be a universal identifier?
Posted by: testcase
Date: October 04, 2017 03:18PM
Well, somebody could go up in a high rise building and search for politicians and businessmen who blatantly violate the law........ smiley-shocked003






Cue the flamers............... angry villagers smiley
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Re: Should the SSN no longer be a universal identifier?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: October 04, 2017 03:23PM
References in the US Code (All Over da place..)
[www.law.cornell.edu]?
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Re: Should the SSN no longer be a universal identifier?
Posted by: GuyGene
Date: October 04, 2017 03:37PM
I've had mine since --------- 1961 old fogey smiley Since Medicare uses it on our cards, I've given up with it.



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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/04/2017 06:25PM by GuyGene.
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Re: Should the SSN no longer be a universal identifier?
Posted by: freeradical
Date: October 04, 2017 03:54PM
I have perhaps the social security numbers of at least 1000 people, since this was used as the identifier for people in the service. The military put the letters "FR" in front of the SSN, so I guess this is good enough to fool the bad guys. If you got promoted on the 1st day of the month, you'd get promotion orders with your SSN, with perhaps at least 100 other peoples numbers who were getting promoted on the same day. Go on temporary duty with 10 other people...The service member's SSN was on EVERY official document as well as those numbers of anyone else who signed a document.

And who else can remember the year when the IRS was kind enough to put everyone's SSN on the peel off label on the outside of the tax booklet they mailed out...
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Re: Should the SSN no longer be a universal identifier?
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: October 04, 2017 03:59PM
Quote
Ombligo
However, what would replace it? Another number or code that would be used in a similar manner, which itself can then be hacked? That just transfers the issue from one to another.

Yes and no. While it would indeed be "just another number," this one would be designed from day one to be kept private, as the new one would almost certainly be.



It is what it is.
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Re: Should the SSN no longer be a universal identifier?
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: October 04, 2017 04:03PM
Quote
freeradical
I have perhaps the social security numbers of at least 1000 people, since this was used as the identifier for people in the service. The military put the letters "FR" in front of the SSN, so I guess this is good enough to fool the bad guys. If you got promoted on the 1st day of the month, you'd get promotion orders with your SSN, with perhaps at least 100 other peoples numbers who were getting promoted on the same day. Go on temporary duty with 10 other people...The service member's SSN was on EVERY official document as well as those numbers of anyone else who signed a document.

And who else can remember the year when the IRS was kind enough to put everyone's SSN on the peel off label on the outside of the tax booklet they mailed out...

As another poster has already pointed out, the use of one's SSN to identify oneself throughout college was ubiquitous in the early-mid '80s. In fact, the reason I memorized my SSN during my freshman year of college was so that I didn't need to pull out my wallet every time I was requested to fill out a form in college.



It is what it is.
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Re: Should the SSN no longer be a universal identifier?
Posted by: Rick-o
Date: October 04, 2017 05:31PM
As an assembly line grunt for GM back in the late 70's early 80's, SSN was who you were. Need to request a personal day? Whotcher SSN? A transfer to another dept? Whotcher SSN? Boss hands you your paycheck, SSN on three different places, for all to see, so on and so forth. If someone wanted your number, it was easily obtained around that particular workplace.

They did move us over to employee ID numbers later. I think it was a Union demand during contract negotiations that finally switched us over.



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Re: Should the SSN no longer be a universal identifier?
Posted by: billb
Date: October 04, 2017 05:35PM
heh,

If the state of Massachusetts has some of your "lost money" you need to hand over a photcopy of your original SSN card to get it back.



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Re: Should the SSN no longer be a universal identifier?
Posted by: RE:up
Date: October 04, 2017 06:01PM
Quote
Ombligo
However, what would replace it? Another number or code that would be used in a similar manner, which itself can then be hacked? That just transfers the issue from one to another.

How did people survive for all those years before we were stamped with their damm number?

See krit aaaa gent man!
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Re: Should the SSN no longer be a universal identifier?
Posted by: TL
Date: October 04, 2017 07:16PM
Quote
GuyGene
I've had mine since --------- 1961 old fogey smiley Since Medicare uses it on our cards, I've given up with it.
Good news/bad news there … CMS is assigning new Medicare numbers not based on SSN. You'll be getting a new card sometime between April 2018 and December 2019. The new ID (mix of letters and numbers) won't be easily memorized at all, but also will be much more difficult to guess your current ID.
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Re: Should the SSN no longer be a universal identifier?
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: October 05, 2017 07:48AM
SSN was never an identification. It was meant to track your credits/debits for SS. nothing else.



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