Thursday, June 01, 2006

My Social Security ID Number is: (not my Soc Sec #):

A letter writer to the New York Times complained today that the Social Security Administration uses his Social Security ID number in his Medicare ID. This means that all the many medical people (and pharmacy workers) who see his Medicare card have access to his soc. sec. number. Isn't that wrong?

Well we know that a short time ago it became illegal for companies in general to use your social security number to identify you (or, a hundred times worse, as your unmodifiable password code). The goal is to lower the risk of identity theft, which is too easy when all you need to steal an identity is a soc sec number. Soc sec numbers used to enable people to get driver's licenses, replacement birth certificates, access to bank accounts and many other forms of ID.

I think the goal is that your soc sec number should have one purpose: to identify your social security account. In fact if the social security administration gave us different numbers to use on our D cards, why, those would be our soc sec numbers! So I think the letter writer is sensibly concerned, but misguided. I hope we will soon see a world where the only thing a thief could do with my soc sec number is to try to get some free medical benefits.

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