Saturday, June 17, 2006

Personal Data Lost/Stolen again

Insurance giant loses data on 970,000 consumers through burglary

Hear is the way your employer can lose your personal data without you knowing about it.

"the lost records were submitted to AIG by 690 different insurance brokers, on behalf of possibly thousands of employers, seeking group coverage for a type of supplemental medical insurance for catastrophic claims. The lost records include names and Social Security numbers"

I have been up front with employers when I work for them that they are not authorized to use my SSN for healthcare identification nor are they authorized to give it to the insurance company at all. In the 80's I had more difficulty with this, but recently I have found companies very understanding. In addition I do not authorize 401K plans to use my SSN as an ID, PIN or any other type of login identifier. This has been more difficult, but I have still been able to get alternative numbers to use.

In general employers are lax in their security of your personal information. Human resource departments routinely use the SSN for a wide variety of things. Giving it to subcontractors is mostly unsecured. You have no idea who is given it.

Again I call on government not to use the Social Security number as a universal identifier. It is bad news.

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