This Loophole Ends the Privacy of Social Security Numbers

Bloomberg: This Loophole Ends the Privacy of SSNs

Hold on tight to that number.

Federal law is supposed to protect the privacy of your Social Security
number from government inquiries—but apparently that doesn’t extend to a
check on whether you’ve paid back taxes and child support. In a decision
with worrying implications for those who oppose a single national
identification number, a divided federal appeals court has rejected a
lawyer’s refusal to submit his Social Security number along with his renewal
of Maryland bar membership.

The court’s majority said that was enough to fit the Social Security number under the federal law that allows states to use your number for tax purposes. That definition is so loose that it enables states to ask for your Social Security number pretty much whenever they want — even when their records have been hacked.

To read the entire article, go to

Of course, Medicare numbers have for years been SSNs. Camouflaged
wonderfully by addition of a tricky trailing letter.

Gabe Goldberg


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