Social Security Numbers: Governments Could Do More to Reduce Display in Public Records and on Identity Cards

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "While the use of Social Security numbers (SSN) can be very beneficial to the public sector, SSNs are also a key piece of information used for committing identity crimes. The widespread use of SSNs by both the public and private sectors and their display in public records have raised concern over how SSNs might be misused and how they should be protected. In light of this concern, GAO was asked to examine (1) the extent to which SSNs are visible in records made available to the ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. November 9, 2004.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "While the use of Social Security numbers (SSN) can be very beneficial to the public sector, SSNs are also a key piece of information used for committing identity crimes. The widespread use of SSNs by both the public and private sectors and their display in public records have raised concern over how SSNs might be misused and how they should be protected. In light of this concern, GAO was asked to examine (1) the extent to which SSNs are visible in records made available to the public, (2) the reasons for which governments collect SSNs in records that display them to the public, and (3) the formats in which these records are stored and ways that the public gains access to them. As well as looking at public records, GAO also examined the practices of several federal agencies regarding the display of entire nine-digit SSNs on health insurance and other identification cards issued under their authority."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • November 9, 2004

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Social Security Numbers: Governments Could Do More to Reduce Display in Public Records and on Identity Cards, report, November 9, 2004; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc296624/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.