|Received:||8/10/2007 4:04:51 PM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
|Rule:||Private Sector Use of SSNs|
Comments:SSNs are typically requested on job applications, even before background checks are needed to screen applicants in the hiring process. Many people involved in the hiring process view these generic forms who have no reason to see the applicant's SSN. Another problem is that SSN are used to perform credit checks. Any business that performs credit checks claims that SSNs are required, but this is not true. Moreover, these businesses claim a law exists that does not. What is worse is that many businesses will fabricate a legal requirement for obtaining SSNs to perform business related functions while surreptitiously using them to do credit checks on customers who they do not inform. VerizonWireless, for example, requires SSN just to transfer an active phone number to their network from an other carrier. The company claims it is required by law to transfer the number, but I believe it they use it to perform a credit check, for which, it is NOT required. Local law enfocement confirmed this as the most likely reason for VerizonWireless's demand on SSN and could not confirm the existence of any government regulation that mandated the use of SSNs to transfer phone numbers. Also, T-Mobile requires SSN be given over the phone just to add $100 to pre-paid service plans. I suspect they also used the number to perform a credit check, at their discretion with out informing customers of this risk.