The nation’s Social Security Numbering system is leaving millions vulnerable to identify theft as researches at Carnegie Mellon University have shown proof that they can obtain Social Security numbers by only having an individual’s location of birth and birth date.
Despite what many believe, Social Security numbers are not random. Some of the digits contain information of your birth place and some of the others contain information of your actual date of birth. By using only these two pieces of information, researches can compute the information into a computer program and obtain your SSN.
While the success rate is still low, it’s high enough to pose a significant identify theft and fraud risk. The researchers were able to obtain the SSN for 8.5 percent of those individuals born after 1988. The accuracy further increased with smaller states and individuals born after 1988.
“The public should not be alarmed by this report because there is no foolproof method for predicting a persons Social Security number”, said the spokesman, Mark Lassiter of the Social Security Administration. “The method by which Social Security assigns numbers has been a matter of public record for years. The suggestion that Mr. Acquisti has cracked a code for predicting an S.S.N. is a dramatic exaggeration.”
The Social Security Administration has been recommended to the public that the Social Security Number should NOT be used as a personal identifier. He also went on to state that the current Social Security Numbering system which utilizes birth places and dates to generate a SSN will be replaced next year with a random numbering system, a system IMO which should have been in place many years ago.