Monday, June 19, 2006
With so many data leaks these days, whatever little belief you had that your social security number was private should now be completely shattered. It's a joke that anyone still uses SSNs for any form of identification and yet it's still considered the standard. Perhaps a few more cases like the following one will help rectify that. A woman who had not worked in a few years was surprised recently to receive a note from the IRS about taxes she owed. As she tried to get to the bottom of the situation, she discovered that her social security number was being used by at least 80 individuals around the country to help them get jobs. What happened after that demonstrates just how screwed up the system is. While she continued to run into various problems due to others using her SSN (including being held at customs because someone using her SSN was wanted for a felony and having trouble getting a new job), the IRS basically told her that she was going to face the same set of problems every year, and there was basically nothing she could do about it (other than get a new SSN, which she eventually did). In the meantime, can someone explain why Social Security Numbers are still being used for identification at all?