|Received:||8/3/2007 8:33:22 PM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
|Rule:||Private Sector Use of SSNs|
Comments:Please realize that SSNs are no longer private or secret; they are just a unique identifier, just as a name would be if there were not so many common names. SSNs should only be used to refer to a person, preferably only in matters directly related to the Social Security Administration, never as a password or in any way as if the number is not public. The US and its industries should never go down the path of mandating a single "password" (secret identifier) for all transactions -- each organization needs their own password (painful though that may be to consumers). Otherwise, the single "password" is far too big and valuable a target to nefarious types. Let's return SSNs to their original use: a unique identifier for the Social Security Administration -- they were never intended to be the key to all financial, governmental, and educational activities. Making the SSN less valuable to identity thieves will make it less valuable and make the act of assuming someone's identity that much harder.