USF stops asking for SSNs in public ID card centers
A few years ago, Parking Services stopped using Social Security Numbers in managing its accounts. Last month, a faculty member was asked for her SSN to get a new ID card. She e-mailed the chapter, which asked the administration to look into it. The response today from Sandy Lovins, Associate Vice President of Human Resources:
We did find out that the Card Center was taking social security numbers in order to generate an ID card (it was a field required in the system that they are using). However, we’ve been able to configure a change in their system and feed required information in from the GEMS system so that social security numbers are no longer needed. The Employee ID number is now officially being used. No longer will the Card Center staff be asking for social security number.
The UFF membership form now gives the option of providing the employee ID instead of the SSN, but includes the SSN option because many faculty know their SSN but not their employee ID. One of the concerns about asking for Social Security Numbers in public situations (whether in parking services or at a card center) is that they are public: You’re in a line, and someone asks you for the SSN. Anyone else in line could overhear your name and SSN, and then they have what they need to generate a false identity. If you are asked for your SSN at USF in a public context, gently refuse to, explain why not, and insist on using your employee ID instead.