hungrytiger: (Default)
[personal profile] hungrytiger
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.

Date: 2010-12-08 09:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cvirtue.livejournal.com
I'll be interested to hear what they say.

Date: 2010-12-08 11:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pale-chartreuse.livejournal.com
How about "My Net Nanny won't let me."

Sending the aide a copy of "Surely you must be joking Mr. Feynman" is probably too subtle.

Date: 2010-12-08 03:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] goldsquare.livejournal.com
They are not requiring your SSN: they are offering a quid pro quo if you give it to them.

I think a nice note that says "Please call me for my SSN" would do.

Date: 2010-12-08 04:21 pm (UTC)
laurion: (Default)
From: [personal profile] laurion
Does anyone else remember the time when people said SSNs were only for Social Security, and should not be used anywhere for any non-tax related thing?

Guess it's what every agency will continue to use until they find a different way to give us all a federal ID card.

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