Monday, September 11, 2017

The Social Security Number must die.

The Social Security Number must die.

It’s been evident for years, but recent publicly disclosed hacks makes it even more obvious. The 80-year-old Social Security number is no longer appropriate as a special identification document.

When an important device to exclusively identify me is available to just about anyone, it is not an exclusive identifier. If anyone can “prove” that they are me; I can no longer prove my identity, nor disprove what they claim.

The government needs to assign everyone a new Federal Identity Number for use only by people who have a direct tax or Social Security relationship with you. The restriction should include stiff penalties for anyone else who possesses an Identity Number not assigned to them.

Most of the reasons we gave out our SSN a generation ago were never valid. Present technology allows us to prove to someone else that a fact (our identity) is true without revealing that fact to them. Disconnected databases and encryption could allow authorized entities to “use” the identity without possessing it.

Everyone else just needs to find a way to trust that I am me without demanding a common unique secret from me. Marketers and web trackers sure have succeeded.

Update - (quite) a bit late

From:        my doctor’s office
Received:    12/28/2017  4:10 PM EST

Personal identity theft affects a large and growing number of seniors. People age 65 and older are increasingly the victims of this type of crime. This is why the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) [ie: the federal government] have started a Fraud Prevention Initiative that removes Social Security numbers from Medicare Cards.

Starting April 2018, CMS will begin mailing new Medicare cards, which will include new Medicare numbers. The mailings will be staggered throughout the year, with completion expected by April 2019.

When you receive your new card, destroy your old card and begin using your new one. Present your new card to the office when you are checking in so our staff can enter your new number into our system and make a copy of the card.


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