Dec. 7th, 2010

hungrytiger: (Default)
Here's a amusing case of the government not paying attention...  I'm interested in going on a White House tour next year.  To do this, you have to request tickets through your local Congressional reps and be willing to go through a security check.  Now, I don't have any problem with going through a security check in this case but, the aide in my Congressman's office is expecting me to send them our Social Security numbers in an email attachment and all of our computer security warning bells went off. 

I'm planning to call him back tomorrow and discuss how insecure a method this is - with a clear explanation that I'm not trying to get out of a security check, I'm just trying to make sure they know what they're doing when they collect SSNs that way.  Any thoughts about this from the community?  If they push back, do I sic the AGs office on them for violation of FTC rules or violation of the Privacy Act of 1974 (which requires all government agencies that request SSNs to provide a "disclosure" statement on the form that explains whether you are required to provide your SSN or if it’s optional, how the SSN will be used, and under what statutory or other authority the number is requested - this was missing from the Excel file I was asked to submit my numbers on.)

Like I said, I don't really have a problem giving them my SSN for this (although SSNs really aren't supposed to be used as national ID numbers, they're specifically intended for tracking income), I just think I should call their attention to a bad practice.

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hungrytiger

April 2011

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