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Archiver > APG > 2007-01 > 1168694811

From: "Melinde Sanborn" <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Social Security Administration
Date: Sat, 13 Jan 2007 08:26:51 -0500
In-Reply-To: <cbc.8ac33b3.32d9c509@aol.com>

I am convinced that there is a misguided political agenda here. At an
Emergency Management conference sponsored by Code Red in Rhode Island last
year I got into it with a mid-to-upper level Health Department official who
sneered his way through a presentation about information security and
insisted that internet access to dead people's SSNs was the source of abuse.

The audience of first responders and emergency planners sat there and seemed
to accept this as fact. I matched his tone and stood up and asked why he was
spending taxpayers' money pondering a service used by financial
institutions, employers, lenders, and the like to detect fraud when the US
government itself was the source of the SSDI. He launched into a vague
diatribe against commercial suppliers and unauthorized use of personal
information and indicated that such things were going to be "shut down."
With no direct experience, he was probably parroting what he'd been told to
say and think.

If the policy level people have ulterior motives in this matter, clearly we
must change their minds or elect/install new people. My real problem is
understanding why there is this misapprehension and where it comes from.
What purpose does it serve to prevent fraud and identity theft by catching
people using dead people's SSNs?


In a message dated 1/13/2007 12:06:13 AM Eastern Standard Time,

I never seem to get an answer from these people when I point out to them
that the principle use of the death information from SSA is by credit and
financial institutions who use it to prevent the very fraud they are so
paranoid about!

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