"Privacy Experts" don't object to SSN requirements
  -according to GAO report

According to a report to Congress from the General Accounting Office, issued
February 2002, "privacy experts" are not concerned about government demands
for social security numbers as condition for engaging in normal societal

The report states, "privacy experts we spoke with generally did not express
privacy concerns regarding the policy that MVAs collect SSNs for child
support enforcement." It further states, "privacy experts we contacted
tended not to identify this requirement as an issue of concern."

The report, entitled, "CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT--Most States Collect
Drivers' SSNs and Use Them to Enforce Child Support" can be downloaded here:
(Report No: GAO-02-239)

The report's authors conclude that "the low level of concern about MVAs
collecting SSNs for child support enforcement may be because SSNs are being
collected in support of a federal program."

It also states that officials of the Texas and Georgia attorney general's
offices and MVA officials in Texas and North Carolina pointed to government'
s purpose in collecting SSNs to
facilitate the payment of child support "as a reason why they are not
concerned about privacy."

GAO propaganda pieces -- such as this report -- are generally prepared at
the request of some Congressional committee or member of congress as
"ammunition" in support of upcoming legislation.

None of the "privacy experts" they (supposedly) contacted are named in the
report. I contacted the report's authors attempting to find out exactly who
the "experts" were they spoke with. My best guess is that members of the
privacy front organization "EPIC" are on the list (and possibly the ONLY
ones on the list). Initially I was told that the names of the "privacy
experts" would be emailed to me. However, a week later I was contacted by
phone and told I must first file a Freedom of Information Act Request before
the names could be released. I am in the process of making this request.

Nowhere does the report comment on the hundreds and possibly thousands of
Christian individuals with strong religious objections to the SSN demand
being consequently punished for their convictions. Neither does the report
mention the fact that the initial social security number requirement as
adopted in 1996 applied ~only~ to "commercial" driver licenses, and that the
word "commercial" was surreptitiously deleted by Congress the following year
(which meant that there was no opportunity for public objection). The report
also fails to mention that a number of lawsuits challenging the SSN
requirement were pending across the US at the time the report was compiled.

The report authors are:
Carolyn Taylor (202)512-2974
Nancy Cosentino (415)904-2117


In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml]

Back to Current Edition Citizen Review Archive LINKS Search This Site