USA Social Security Numbers – Is encryption necessary for SSN Data?

Any one planning to visit USA is expected to be familiar with SSN.

SSN history can be traced back to 1936. In 1953, major changes were introduced to the SSN process flow.

SSN can to be the de facto national identification number, of U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and temporary (working) residents.

In fact, SSNs’ for babies have to be applied before they leave the hospitals. This is a bit painful for Indians, as this means that the baby’s name has to be decided immediately after the birth of the child!!

It was bit of a surprise to know that under current USA IRS laws, SSNs’ need not be encrypted.

This was one of the chief reasons behind foreign hackers getting access to South Carolina’s residents SSN’s and other related data. The hackers broke into the state’s Department of Revenue and stole the records of 3.8 million individual taxpayers and nearly three-quarters of a million businesses.

In fact, all South Carolina residents who filed electronic tax return from 1998 were affected.

Later investigations disclosed   two key failures by state officials, a lack of sufficient security protocols to keep hackers out and Social Security numbers not being encrypted.

Yes, you have read it right. However, steps are now being taken to encrypt the SSN’s. Well, another opportunity for IT companies.

Aadhaar Numbers in India will be stored in encrypted from by UIDAI from Day 1. So, it will be a bit difficult for hackers to lay their hands on Aadhaar Numbers.


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