Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

UGa to Tighten Standards for IDs; Social Security Numbers No Longer Will Be Used in Wake of Hacker Cases

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

UGa to Tighten Standards for IDs; Social Security Numbers No Longer Will Be Used in Wake of Hacker Cases

Article excerpt

Byline: JENNIFER MOORE

ATHENS, Ga. -- The University of Georgia is taking steps to eliminate the use of Social Security numbers as the official identifier for students, faculty and staff.

The decision to create a new type of identification number comes as identity theft is on the rise. Alpharetta-based ChoicePoint Inc. disclosed in February that hackers had accessed huge databases of personal information, and two major credit card companies announced Tuesday that they will cut ties with a payment-processing company that left massive databases vulnerable to security breaches.

At UGa, officials started reducing the use of Social Security numbers about three years ago, when the university stopped using the numbers on identification cards for students, faculty and staff.

But the university continues to use Social Security numbers as the official identification number for students, faculty, staff and other university affiliates, said Bert DeSimone, communications director for Enterprise Information Technology and a member of the university's Identity Management Task Force. …

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