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Your Social Security Number is a major target of ID theft – government has yet to implement an alternative

Social Security Numbers: OMB Actions Needed to Strengthen Federal Efforts to Limit Identity Theft Risks by Reducing Collection, Use, and Display, GAO-17-553: Published: Jul 25, 2017. Publicly Released: Jul 27, 2017. “Governmentwide initiatives aimed at eliminating the unnecessary collection, use, and display of Social Security Numbers (SSN) have been underway in response to recommendations that the presidentially appointed Identity Theft Task Force made in 2007 to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, these initiatives have had limited success. In 2008, OPM proposed a regulation requiring the use of an alternate federal employee identifier but withdrew it in 2010 because no such identifier was available. OMB required agencies to develop SSN reduction plans and requires annual reporting on agency SSN reduction efforts. SSA developed an online clearinghouse of best practices for reducing SSN use; however, it is no longer available online. Based on responses to GAO’s questionnaire, the 24 agencies covered by the Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act use SSNs for various purposes…” [emphasis added – note, more than three years ago I blogged this: Massive hack of federal personnel files included security-clearance database]

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