OT Social Security numbers

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Spotted a reference to this in the local paper. Looked it up and this is what I found. According to the writer this becomes effective 1 October 2000. It was news to me so thought it would be of interest to others

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children & Families Office of Child Support Enforcement

DCL-00-38 MAR 29, 2000


RE: Notice Requirement for Mandatory Collections of Social Security Numbers

Dear Colleague:

As you know, section 466(a)(13) of the Social Security Act (the Act) requires the recording of Social Security Numbers (SSN) in certain family matters. States are required to have:

Procedures requiring that the social security number of 

(A) any applicant for a professional license, drivers license, occupational license, recreational license, or marriage license be recorded on the application;

(B) any individual who is subject to a divorce decree, support order, or paternity determination or acknowledgement be placed in the records relating to the matter; and

(C) any individual who has died be placed in the records relating to the death and be recorded on the death certificate.

For purposes of subparagraph (A), if a State allows the use of a number other than the social security number to be used on the face of the document while the social security number is kept on file at the agency, the State shall so advise any applicants.

The Office of Child Support Enforcement wants to bring to the States attention that the collection of social security numbers, although mandatory, requires that notice be given concerning the request. This notice requirement is contained in section 7 of the Privacy Act (5 USC 552a [note]). A copy of this section of the Privacy Act is attached for your reference.

Section 7(a)(1) of the Privacy Act prohibits Federal, State or local agencies from denying an individual any right or privilege because of the individuals refusal to disclose his SSN, but provides two exceptions in paragraph (2), one of which applies to the disclosure required under section 466(a)(13) of the Act. The applicable exception, contained in paragraph (2)(A), is that the disclosure is required by Federal statute.

Section 7(b) of the Privacy Act requires that any Federal, State or local government agency which requests an individual to disclose his social security account number shall inform that individual whether that disclosure is mandatory or voluntary, by what statutory or other authority such number is solicited, and what uses will be made of it. Accordingly, for purposes of implementing section 466(a)(13) of the Act, States must inform individuals that the disclosure is mandatory, that it is based on section 466(a)(13) of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 666(a)(13)], and that it will be used under the States child support enforcement program to locate individuals for purposes of establishing paternity and establishing, modifying, and enforcing support obligations.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Paige Biava, Division of Policy and Planning, on (202) 401-5635.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), September 21, 2000


Just say NO! :-'

-- spider (spider0@usa.net), September 22, 2000.

Dozens order Social Security numbers removed 2000-09-29 by Dean A. Radford Journal Reporter

Dozens of drivers worried about their Social Security numbers being misused or falling into the wrong hands e-mailed the state Department of Licensing yesterday, asking that the numbers be removed from the department's database.

For more than a decade the state has collected the numbers on a voluntary basis, although many residents say they didn't know they had a choice.

Starting Monday, the state must collect all Social Security numbers to comply with a federal law designed to help identify parents who are behind in their child-support payments.

``I think it's horrible,'' said William Moose of Bellevue, who e- mailed his request. ``The state can't be trusted.''

The state set up the e-mail address late Tuesday to give people a quick way to have their numbers removed. The state had received about 130 requests via e-mail through the end of business yesterday.

Those concerned with privacy issues also can mail their requests to the state licensing department. Requests must be postmarked by 12:01 a.m. Sunday, the same deadline for e-mailed requests.

Spokesman Mark Varadian said the department did not have an estimate of how many requests would be made, but he noted that about 80 percent of drivers provided the number voluntarily. ``My assumption is that if they didn't want it (the Social Security number) in the system they wouldn't have given it.''

Of the 130 or so requests, the state didn't have the Social Security numbers for several and denied the requests of those with commercial drivers licenses.

William Sheehan of Mill Creek, a computer network engineer, cranked up his computer first thing yesterday morning to send in his request. ``I understand how little privacy we have,'' he said.

He heard back in about 30 minutes that his request had been granted. ``For a government agency that's impressive,'' he said.

``The Social Security number is the golden key to everyone's information,'' he said. Like others, he's not convinced government can be trusted to protect this valuable number. But state officials say they jealously guard the numbers. The numbers also won't appear on the license.

Floyd Palensky of Enumclaw, who is mailing his request, says he didn't shirk his parental duties and wonders why he should be penalized now so the state can go after those who do.

``I have taken care of my obligations as far as taking care of my family,'' he said. ``To me it's just like asking the fox to guard the chicken coop.''

Palensky worries the information will fall into the wrong hands. So does Cheryl Myers of Auburn, who was busy yesterday doing interviews and fielding questions from friends after telling her story in the South County Journal.

She says the state is branding citizens as potential criminals by collecting the numbers. At a minimum she wants the number deleted once it is cross-referenced with DSHS files.

``Your right to due process is being sidestepped here,'' she said. ``You are being viewed as a potential deadbeat parent until you let them clear you of any wrongdoing. This isn't right.''

Dean Radford can be reached at dean.radford@southcountyjournal.com or 253-872-6719.

* * *


People can ask the state Department of Licensing to remove their Social Security number from the department's database by e-mail or by mail. All requests must be postmarked by 12:01 a.m. Sunday. The request must include the person's first, middle and last name, date of birth and driver's license number.

The e-mail address is ssn@dol.wa.gov. The mailing address is Department of Licensing, P.O. Box 9030, Olympia WA, 98507-9030, ATTN: Driver Responsibility Section.

-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), September 29, 2000.

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