The Seniors Center Blog: White House official says government is considering dropping the Social Security number for personal identification

White House Cybersecurity Coordinator and advisor Rob Joyce is among a growing number of government officials calling for a smarter modern way to identify American citizens and consumers–preferrably one that doesn’t jeopardize our financial security every time we use it.

Though the Social Security number was never originally intended to be a universal identifier for every citizen, over the course of many decades, it has become just that.  Our SSNs are tied to our medical records, credit reports, credit cards, employment records, bank accounts, and loans, just to name a few.  Before you can make any substantial moves in your life, you’ll most likely be asked to spit out your SSN to prove you are you.

With so many institutions and agencies holding onto our SSNs–including the big credit reporting bureaus, like Equifax–it’s only a matter of time before someone drops the ball and releases our sensitive information into the digital wilds.

This method of tracking identities may have been suitable decades ago, but experts like Joyce say in the highly digitized and computer-literate world of 2017, compromises such as that at Equifax will only become more common and harder to control if we continue to rely on the simple sharing of our SSNs to identify ourselves.

That’s why Joyce confirms the White House is now looking to alternative identification methods, and considering dropping the SSN entirely.

See what Joyce has in mind over at The Seniors Center Blog.