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Re: SSN Use

Re: SSN #s

Boyce is right to worry, as are others who have opened this matter up.
In answer to his question, New York State assigns its own unique (and
interminable) ID number on drivers' licenses, thankfully. Yet our group
health insurance company imprinted my SSN number on my prescription drug
card; the number is on file at my pharmacy, which happens to be part of
a huge chain. I protested loudly, and got a new card without it, since
my name and group number are sufficiently unique identifiers. It is
unfair to library users to expose them further to identity theft, an
increasingly common problem. I would much rather carry an extra ID card
for library use. There exist inexpensive software programs to generate
random numbers of any length; these can be attached to a user's computer
file instead of an SSN. Let's not get complacent about security in our
troubled society.

Alan M. Edelson, Ph.D.

>Peter B. Boyce wrote: 
> This is getting even farther afield, but I wonder how many states use
> the SSN as the driver's license number.  I know the District of
> Clumbia does.  And, for all I know, they sell the lists to
> marketers...
> I have always worried about the SSN being on my license.  I guess the risk
> of theft is actually small. It is similar to sending credit card numbers
> actually had a problem is small, but the perception of risk as perceived by
> the public is enormous.
> Still, the privacy issue is an important matter.
> --Peter--
> Peter B. Boyce
> ________________________________________________________________________
> Senior Associate and past Executive Officer   
> American Astronomical Society                           Phone: 202 328-2010
> 2000 Florida Ave. #400, Washington, DC  20009           FAX: 202-234-2560
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