All This Was Easily Preventable

7 07 2009

MSNBC:

Researchers say they can guess your SSN

There’s a new reason to worry about the security of your Social Security number.  Turns out, they can be guessed with relative ease.

A group of researchers at Carnegie-Mellon University say they’ve discovered patterns in the issuance of numbers that make it relatively easy to deduce the personal information using publicly available information and some basic statistical analysis.

The research could have far-ranging implications for financial institutions and other firms that rely on Social Security numbers to ward off identity theft. It could also unleash a wave of criminal imitators who will try to duplicate the research.

This news would have been met by the world with a collective “yawn,” except that SSNs have become far more than what they were originally intended for.  If SSNs were today what they were at the inception of Social Security and later Medicare, and that is a simple account number that you have with the Social Security Administration for the payment of SS and Medicare taxes into the system, and then your eventual receipt of benefits from the system, then someone getting your SSN would be useless to them.  Carnegie-Mellon’s algorithm would be merely an intellectual curiosity if SSNs were simple SSA account numbers.  Now, their breakthrough means that everyone is at risk.

Instead, because the busy body bureaucrats and the nanny state want your SSN for almost everything, getting your SSN is the gateway master key to stealing your identity.  All an illegal alien needs to go to get a “documented” life is to make up or steal an SSN, and everything is downhill from there.  This is why I laugh at “lifelock” commercials.  We shouldn’t have to pay $10 a month to save our identity; the Federal government merely needs to follow its own laws.  I’m sure there are tomes and tomes full of SSN confidentiality laws.

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