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Identity Theft

If you’re a professor, want to make a quick buck?  Apparently, some professors have joined the ranks of identity thieves.  A community college professor stole the identities of three of his students and used them to fill out credit card applications in the students’ names.  According to a CNN story [link no longer available]:

Slosberg had asked his students to write their names and Social Security numbers on a sign-in sheet, students said. “We all signed it,” Amanda Bracewell said. “We figured, ‘He’s a teacher, what is he going to do with it?”‘

Many schools use student Social Security Numbers (SSNs) as identification numbers.  For example, I get a printout of my student names and SSNs after I grade their exams, as students’ exam identification numbers are their SSNs.  A number of schools put student SSNs on identification cards.  The practice of using SSNs as identifiers by schools and other institutions exposes students to a risk of identity theft.  Beyond professors gone bad, SSNs can wind up in the hands of identity thieves when documents with student names and SSNs are discarded or when a student ID card gets lost.  So for all the student readers of this blog, be extra kind to us professors . . . or else.


Originally posted at PrawfsBlawg


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This post was authored by Professor Daniel J. Solove, who through TeachPrivacy develops computer-based privacy training, data security training, HIPAA training, and many other forms of awareness training on privacy and security topics. Professor Solove also posts at his blog at LinkedIn. His blog has more than 1 million followers.

Professor Solove is the organizer, along with Paul Schwartz, of the Privacy + Security Forum and International Privacy + Security Forum, annual events designed for seasoned professionals.

If you are interested in privacy and data security issues, there are many great ways Professor Solove can help you stay informed:
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