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Social sec & Medicare ID numbers, & Privacy


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11 replies to this topic

#1 GoshenBleeping

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 07:32 AM

OK, so Medicare has announced that they are issuing new Medicare cards that will have a Medicare ID number rather than the Social Security number. On the surface this appears to solve the problem of SS numbers being stolen from medical offices. Unfortunately this change comes way too late to be of any good to current Medicare holders. For example I spoke with the IT folks at a very large medical center in my city. These folks indicated that their software is being changed to use the new Medicare ID number as the unique number for each patient. BUT they will NOT be removing the SS number from their systems.

 

So what good does the new card do?  Comments anyone?


Edited by hamluis, 16 October 2017 - 07:47 AM.
Moved from Gen Security to Gen Chat - Hamluis.


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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 09:02 AM

I think this is when people with medicare cards in their wallets or purses loose them or get them stolen, not from the SS number being lost in a digital breach.


Edited by JohnC_21, 16 October 2017 - 10:12 AM.


#3 britechguy

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 09:42 AM

John,

 

        Agreed.  You also don't have the SSN available for others who might be looking over shoulders there for them to see.  The concept is similar to the new chip credit cards that no longer have the card numbers on the front of the card at all and what's on the back is "printed on" the card rather than using the old-style embossing.

 

        The intention is to make accidental and unintended disclosure more difficult.  I don't know of a single medical office that does not include SSN as one of the things that they routinely ask for because it is used by other entities as a unique identifier.   That's only a problem if someone is attempting to impersonate you/steal your identity.

 

         Every little bit that prevents unintended disclosure helps.  But digital data breaches are with us and always will be with us and whether SSN is on a Medicare card or not is irrelevant as far as the databases already maintained go.


Brian AKA Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

 

     In a modern society where everyone thinks their opinion deserves to be heard nothing annoys me more than individuals who mistake their personal preferences for fact.

         ~ Commenter TheCruyffGurn on the The Guardian website, 8/13/2014

 

              

 


#4 sikntired

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 11:30 AM

Reply and subsequent responses removed out of consideration for OP's query.


Edited by sikntired, 17 October 2017 - 09:18 AM.


#5 britechguy

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 11:44 AM

Well, SS numbers were never (initially) intended to be a personal identifier and as such were harmless. However through evolution financial institutions, et al, have come to rely on it. Here's a quote from a Wall Street Journal article:

 

“There isn’t in the market right now a viable singular replacement for a Social Security number,” said Al Pascual, research director and head of fraud and security at consulting firm Javelin Strategy & Research. “That Social Security number has become a linchpin from an identity point and an authentication standpoint.”

 

You can read the article in its entirety here: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/social-security-numbers-hacked-hated-and-irreplaceable/ar-AAtyiy8?li=BBnbfcN

 

 

This is in no way a criticism of your having offered this, as greater detail is always helpful.

 

I have to say, though, that the quoted bit should amount to a, "Duh!," declaration to virtually anyone alive who's beyond elementary school years.  I can't recall a time, even before the rise of the computer, where SSN has not been "a linchpin from an identity point an an authentication standpoint."   It's been used that way for my entire life because it is singularly useful for doing so.  Things that are singularly useful for a given purpose are guaranteed to get used for that purpose whether that was their intended purpose or not.

 

People, including myself, are inclined to go for ease of use by nature.  Why reinvent the wheel, which is what creating another unique identifier other than SSN is doing.  Even if one were to be created, its power for abuse would be equal to that of the SSN.   It's the ubiquity of the SSN and the fact that it is unique that makes it both so useful and abusable in the wrong hands.


Brian AKA Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

 

     In a modern society where everyone thinks their opinion deserves to be heard nothing annoys me more than individuals who mistake their personal preferences for fact.

         ~ Commenter TheCruyffGurn on the The Guardian website, 8/13/2014

 

              

 


#6 sikntired

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 11:56 AM

none


Edited by sikntired, 17 October 2017 - 09:14 AM.


#7 britechguy

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 12:28 PM

So sorry to have sullied the obvious by pointing out it's obvious.

 

That so-called evolution was done long before I was born, and I'm over 50 years old.


Brian AKA Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

 

     In a modern society where everyone thinks their opinion deserves to be heard nothing annoys me more than individuals who mistake their personal preferences for fact.

         ~ Commenter TheCruyffGurn on the The Guardian website, 8/13/2014

 

              

 


#8 sikntired

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 06:21 PM

none            


Edited by sikntired, 17 October 2017 - 09:14 AM.


#9 britechguy

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 10:29 PM

The fact that you chose to ignore the line, at the very start of my original response, that reads, "This is in no way a criticism of your having offered this, as greater detail is always helpful,"  is your fault, not mine.

 

I was not criticizing you, but the gentleman who thought it necessary to explain that SSNs are used as they have been used for the lifetimes of virtually anyone alive today.  What he offered was not news, to anyone who's paid the slightest bit of attention to how and when their SSN is requested from the time they are admitted to primary school (which is when I had to get mine).


Brian AKA Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

 

     In a modern society where everyone thinks their opinion deserves to be heard nothing annoys me more than individuals who mistake their personal preferences for fact.

         ~ Commenter TheCruyffGurn on the The Guardian website, 8/13/2014

 

              

 


#10 mjd420nova

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 11:53 AM

I have come under the impression that the SSN was/is used as a milestone for citizenship?  You had to be a bonifide resident to have one issued?? 



#11 britechguy

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 12:41 PM

There are restrictions on who can be issued an SSN, but citizenship isn't the sole arbiter.

 

See:  https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v69n2/v69n2p55.html and search on Enumeration at Entry or the wikipedia page on SSN.


Edited by britechguy, 17 October 2017 - 12:41 PM.

Brian AKA Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

 

     In a modern society where everyone thinks their opinion deserves to be heard nothing annoys me more than individuals who mistake their personal preferences for fact.

         ~ Commenter TheCruyffGurn on the The Guardian website, 8/13/2014

 

              

 


#12 Naught McNoone

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 10:16 AM

. . . Medicare cards that will have a Medicare ID number rather than the Social Security number . . . solve the problem of SS numbers being stolen from medical offices . . . medical center in my city . . . indicated that their software is being changed to use the new Medicare ID number . . . BUT they will NOT be removing the SS number from their systems . . . what good does the new card do?

 

In my country, our Social Insurance Number is our federal identifier.

The health care system, however, is not run by the federal government, but rather the provincial one.

So, every one eligible for health care has their own unique id.

My provincial health care card has my photo and birth date on it, as well as my health care number.

 

I should point out, however, by law, it is illegal for any person or entity to record or keep any of the information displayed on the card, unless they are directly involved in providing provincial health services.

So, while the card is a valid photo id at the Beer Store, they can't keep it on file.  For this reason, some services decline to accept it as a valid id, opting for things like drivers license, birth certificate, passport, &c.

 

I can also see the point of keeping a secondary identifier on each patient.  Prior to any procedure, the person at the other end of the syringe should always ensure that they have the right patient.  It's hard to sew some bits back on.  :)

 

Cheers!

 

Naught






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