White House Looks at Replacing Social Security Numbers

White House Looks at Replacing Social Security Numbers

"I believe the Social Security number has outlived its usefulness", Joyce said, noting that the number can not be changed-even after it has been compromised.

"Why should something you have to write down on a form and give to third parties, transmit openly, allowed to be stored in filing cabinets and in records all over the country, even all over the globe - why should that be the thing that allows access to your financial records?"

Joyce also said that every use of the Social Security number puts it at risk. Now, they are used for medical records, to open a bank account, and to run a credit check.

"The concept of a Social Security number in this environment being private and secure-I think it's time as a country to think beyond that", Smith said. It would make it much more hard to forge identities, enhance user privacy, and provide a new, secure communication channel between the government and individuals. "It's infused in so many aspects of our lives".

USA officials are studying ways to end the use of social security numbers for identification following a series of data breaches compromising the data for millions of Americans, a Trump administration official said Tuesday. These keys utilize encryption methods to authenticate an individual.

Earlier this year, President Trump directed federal agencies to begin looking at other options, and the National Institute for Standards and Technology has been working with the financial industry on the problem, Joyce said.

Former Equifax chief executive Richard Smith, testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the first of four hearings this week, agreed with Joyce, saying the rising number of hacks involving Social Security numbers have eroded its security value.

"I think it's really clear there needs to be a change", he said.

"It's a flawed system that we can't roll back after a breach", Joyce said.

"At the policy coordination level ... we've called for the departments and agencies to bring forward their ideas and let's start talking about the Social Security number and the vulnerabilities in the cyber wall", he said.