Monday, December 19, 2005

SSNs for Employee Identification on the Way Out

The Omnia Group, Inc.

Omnia recently reported that as identity theft grows, the number of employers using Social Security numbers (SSNs) as internal employee identification devices are going down. In fact, lawmakers in Michigan and California have already taken action, and have restricted the use of SSNs for identity purposes.

Michigan’s SSN Privacy Act goes into effect Jan. 1, 2006. It prohibits employers from disclosing more than four sequential SSN digits to any third party. The Act states that the use of more than four SSN digits is prohibited on any identification badge or network unless the connection is secure, the transmission is encrypted or a password or other unique personal identification number is also required to gain access. California passed S.B. 101 this year, clarifying that by Jan. 1, 2008, no more than the last four SSN digits may appear on an employee’s pay stub.

Experts believe that it is just a matter of time before federal legislation is passed that will make the use of SSNs for identity purposes a thing of the past.

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