Social Security Numbers Are Easy to Guess

ScienceNOW Daily News


The threat is real, agrees information privacy expert Chris Hoofnagle of the University of California, Berkeley. "Using Social Security numbers for both identification and authentication is no longer tenable, because possession of the number--unlike a fingerprint--offers no verification of identity," he says. It is also clear, says Hoofnagle, that years of consumer education to teach people not to share their Social Security number isn't adequate when one can simply predict a number.