WCU ID security breached

WCU ID security breached

There are 3 comments on the Asheville Citizen-Times story from Mar 22, 2008, titled WCU ID security breached. In it, Asheville Citizen-Times reports that:

The news arrived by mail, and it was unsettling. Someone had hacked into a computer and had access to the Social Security numbers of 555 graduates of Western Carolina University who had signed up for a ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Asheville Citizen-Times.

Since: Mar 08

Perry, Ohio

#1 Mar 23, 2008
If it plainly states on the front of my Social Security Card "For Social Security and Tax purposes- not for Identification." then I feel like a law has been broken by it being required in the first place.

United States

#2 Mar 24, 2008
I subscribed to a product called Identity Sweep a while ago. It can tell me if my social number is on the web being sold. I think I'm covered, and hope others are too!!

Shreveport, LA

#3 Mar 25, 2008
In 1977 I became aware of all of the places I had given up my SSN, apparently for someone else's temporary convenience resulting in my lifelong liability: PSAT, SAT, GMAT tests, a a college application, blood donor number, life insurance, health insurance, a professional licensing exam, credit card applications, an apartment rental application, a mortgage application, hospital admittance form, dentist's office, medical doctor's office, etc.

Upon realizing how far-flung my information was spread (and hence out of my control), I decided then and there to not release my SSN to anyone else who wasn't paying me a salary, wage, interest or a dividend (all legal uses).

Since making that decision, I have been asked to provide my SSN to register to vote, on additional mortgage applications, for additional credit cards, additional health & life insurance applications, three professional licensing applications, graduate school applications, other college course & professional seminar applications, utility applications, a one-day temporary college parking pass(!), etc. with the most ridiculous request being to redeem my wife's cat at the city pound!(Yes, it happened!!)

In each of these situations I have politely, but FIRMLY asked WHY and then said NO! I'm batting 100% and in each situation have received the service or benefit I was requesting WITHOUT PROVIDING THE SSN!

EVERYTIME a federal, state and local government's requests (including contractors working for them)(which includes public colleges & universities) an individual's SSN, the request must be in compliance with the federal Privacy Act of 1974, effective Jan 1, 1975. Each agency MUST tell you their (1) their STATUTORY authority (chapter & verse!) to use the number,(2) what they are going to use it for,(3) whether the disclosure is mandatory or voluntary and (4) the consequences of not providing it. THE BURDEN OF PROOF IS ON THEM! Their only exception is if they are using a system of records that "validly" used the SSN as an identifier prior to 1/1/1975. They cannot extort your SSN and threaten to withhold the benefit or service without meeting these requirements as this is a further violation of the Act. A conviction under the Act is a felony potentially resulting in two years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

The reality of life is that the local US Attorney's offices are supposed to be prosecuting the violations, but they don't appear to be interested and the bureaucrats really aren't interested in complying. For example, try to find anyone in the NCDMV from the front line clerks to the Secretary of Transportation who actually know the law and the consequences of violating it!

The disclosure of the "peeking" into the passport records of the US presidential candidates this week appears to be a prosecutable violation, a virtual slam dunk in the opinion of most. If the violators were given some active prison time and a substantial fine this deliberate abuse would stop!

Educate yourself and start pushing back!

I've been resisting the requests/demands for my SSN for over 30 years, long before it evolved into the basic foundation for identity theft!

My wife gets an occasional look at my bare backside and assures me that the SSN has not yet been tatooed there as was the case with my father's college roommate who had it done on a whim back in the 1940s and was definitely a man ahead of his time!

I am a man who walks upright, thinks for himself and eats while seated at a table, not a numbered beast in the field who grazes on grass!

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