|Received:||9/5/2007 8:17:07 PM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
|Rule:||Private Sector Use of SSNs|
Comments:Social Security Numbers (SSNs) should not be used for proof of identity. SSNs should be used for identification clarification, that is a unique number to determine which John Smith it is that you are dealing with. The identity theft problem results form accepting a SSN (and other information) as proof of identity. Individuals should not be responsible debts or obligations made by someone else (identity thief) using their SSN or any other personal information. If business is not able to pass the costs of identity theft on to individuals whose information is stolen, business will develop procedures to insure proper identification before credit is given. Business will claim this will increase the costs of giving credit. The costs are already there, being bourne by innocent citizens who often don't have the resources to bear them. A person should be able to be freely use their SSN to identify themselves as a unique individual without worry that someone will use it to obligate their funds. No one should have to clear their name if someone takes their name and address from a phone book and takes out a line of credit. Just because the thief also has their SSN shouldn't change anything. Today's credit industry seems to operate on a guilty until proven innocent basis. The guilt and responsibilty needs to be put back on the grantors of credit.