Archives for social security number

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 10/26/17

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

In the wake of years of huge data breaches, there is increasing talk of replacing vulnerable and increasingly ineffective Social Security numbers as a means of identification both online and off. It’s a hard problem, and the underlying questions that a Committee of the National Research Council asked 15 years ago about national identity systems are questions that we should still all be asking today.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 10/19/17

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Identity theft has been in the news lately due to huge data breaches like the one at Equifax. But at the center of that concern is a number, a number that serves as a universal identifier and thus is the key to stealing an identity and causing innocent people a world of hurt. That number, of course, is a Social Security Number, a number that was never meant to serve as a universal personal identifier. Now many want to see it replaced as a way to prove identity. But proving identity online is no simple task. In fact, it is probably the biggest challenge facing the digital world today.