Sunday, January 06, 2008

Who Needs Social Security Numbers?

This is an interesting column from Tom LaSusa at Information Week about why companies and organizations should stop using Social Security Numbers (SSN) for identifying their customers and clients.

LaSusa was commenting on the latest in a string of laptop thefts with customer data, this time from the Memorial Blood Centers in Minnesota. Besides information about their blood types, the laptops had SSNs for the blood donors.

SSNs here in the US are a vital piece of information that can be used to commit identity theft.

In response, Memorial Blood Centers doesn't ask for SSNs any more. Unfortunately, many government web sites still prominently display SSNs to the dismay of security professionals.

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