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Social Security Numbers

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BUSINESS
September 5, 2013 | By David Lazarus
My recent column about cable, satellite and phone companies demanding people's Social Security numbers as a condition for service got Jeffrey thinking. He wants to know: When did our Social Security numbers become our personal identification numbers? They weren't intended to serve this function. In fact, people's Social Security cards carried a warning for decades that they shouldn't be used for ID purposes. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions But every time there's been talk of creating a national ID card, Americans have shot it down, worried about too much personal information being concentrated in one place.
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BUSINESS
January 23, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
Neiman Marcus Group said data from more than a million of its customers' payment cards may have been nabbed by hackers who breached the upscale retailer's system last year. The company said malicious software was surreptitiously installed to collect, or “scrape,” payment card information from July 16 to Oct. 30, leaving 1.1 million cards “potentially visible” to hackers. Though the investigation is ongoing, Neiman Marcus said it has been informed by Visa, MasterCard and Discover that 2,400 cards have since been used fraudulently.
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NATIONAL
September 28, 2012 | By David Zucchino
The Social Security numbers of Army recipients of the Medal of Honor and Distinguished Service Cross were inadvertently posted online by a Pentagon contractor and were available to the public until they were discovered by a Vietnam veteran who researches military medal awards. The Social Security numbers of 31 winners of the military's top two awards for valor in combat were posted by a contractor conducting medals research for the Pentagon. The information was removed Friday after the Pentagon learned of the breach through the efforts of Doug Sterner of Alexandria, Va., a Bronze Star winner who has spent 14 years researching medals.
BUSINESS
January 16, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
Neiman Marcus Group offered more details Thursday about the data breach it disclosed late last week, saying that although credit and debit card information was stolen, customers' social security numbers and birth dates were not. And because the company doesn't use PIN pads in its stores, the identifying numbers that are usually punched into the machines appear to be safe, Neiman Marcus said. And, as of Wednesday, the company said accounts linked to its Neiman Marcus card aren't showing signs of fraudulent activity.
BUSINESS
January 16, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
Neiman Marcus Group offered more details Thursday about the data breach it disclosed late last week, saying that although credit and debit card information was stolen, customers' social security numbers and birth dates were not. And because the company doesn't use PIN pads in its stores, the identifying numbers that are usually punched into the machines appear to be safe, Neiman Marcus said. And, as of Wednesday, the company said accounts linked to its Neiman Marcus card aren't showing signs of fraudulent activity.
BUSINESS
November 21, 1987 | DEBRA WHITEFIELD
QUESTION: You said in a recent column that the IRS now requires children to have a Social Security number. Do I have to go to a Social Security office to get one for my 6-year-old? Or is there any easier way?--H. U. ANSWER: You can do it by mail if you prefer. Pick up an application--Form SS-5--from your local Social Security office or have them send you one.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 17, 2007 | From Times Staff Reports
A county laptop computer that contained individuals' Social Security numbers was stolen last month, according to a county report. The password-protected computer assigned to a county auditor-controller employee held the names and Social Security numbers of 28 people enrolled in the Department of Social Services' Refugee Employment Program. The auditor-controller's office is sending letters to the affected individuals advising them to protect themselves against identity theft.
NEWS
July 21, 2000 | ROBERT A. ROSENBLATT, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Congress, trying to curb a rash of "identity thefts," is moving to ban states and companies from trafficking in one of the most ubiquitous forms of American identification: the Social Security number. If a bill making its way through the House becomes law as expected, stores no longer would be able to require a customer writing a check to give his or her Social Security number. States no longer could make public driver's license files with Social Security numbers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 1998 | HILARY E. MacGREGOR, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Declaring his Social Security numbers the modern-day equivalent of the biblical "mark of the beast," a Ventura County sheriff's deputy has gone to court demanding that the county rid him of the cursed number. Deputy Patrick Dain, 42, is asking his employer to delete the number from his records--something the county has refused to do for four years--and pay him more than $25,000 in damages for money lost in his time-consuming battle.
BUSINESS
February 12, 1988 | S. J. DIAMOND
The 1970s were characterized by great fears for privacy. What if files were being created by both government and private business under everyone's Social Security number? Didn't the use of such identifying numbers, plus the new computer technology, encourage public and private agencies to snoop into each other's records? The 1980s are cooler about such concerns.
BUSINESS
December 19, 2013 | By Scott Wilson and Ricardo Lopez
The announcement by Target on Thursday that 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been breached by cyber-crooks is just one in a string of notable consumer-data breaches in recent years.  The Minneapolis-based retailer said the unauthorized access - which occurred between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 - may mean that criminals now have shoppers' names, payment card numbers, expiration dates and three-digit security codes at their disposal. The breach affects Target patrons who made purchases at U.S. stores, the company said.
BUSINESS
November 25, 2013 | By Chad Terhune, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
In a departure from most medical privacy cases, Anthem Blue Cross said it accidentally posted online Social Security or tax identification numbers for about 24,500 California doctors. [Updated 1:03 p.m. PST Nov. 25: An Anthem spokesman said Monday that 24,500 doctors were affected, up from the previous 5,900 figure issued by the company. ] Anthem, a unit of insurance giant WellPoint Inc., said the private information was mistakenly included with its online provider directory for about 24 hours late last month.
BUSINESS
September 5, 2013 | By David Lazarus
My recent column about cable, satellite and phone companies demanding people's Social Security numbers as a condition for service got Jeffrey thinking. He wants to know: When did our Social Security numbers become our personal identification numbers? They weren't intended to serve this function. In fact, people's Social Security cards carried a warning for decades that they shouldn't be used for ID purposes. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions But every time there's been talk of creating a national ID card, Americans have shot it down, worried about too much personal information being concentrated in one place.
BUSINESS
August 26, 2013 | David Lazarus
Here's a hard-and-fast rule: Don't give your Social Security number to anyone unless it's absolutely necessary. More than 12 million Americans fell victim to identity theft last year, according to Javelin Strategy & Research. Losses topped $21 billion, with the costliest data breaches involving fraudsters gaining access to people's Social Security numbers. With all that in mind, it's hard to imagine that any business nowadays would ask consumers to part with their Social Security number except for the most important of reasons.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 11, 2013 | By Rick Rojas
A federal grand jury has indicted 14 Inland Empire residents in a sweep of people accused of stealing government benefits or lying on passport applications, federal prosecutors said. Federal officials said Thursday that over the last two weeks, 13 indictments -- including one that charges two people -- have been issued. Eleven of the 14 who were indicted are charged with theft of government property, allegedly taking and spending government benefits to which they weren't entitled -- including cases in which the person took payments issued to dead relatives, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice.
BUSINESS
July 5, 2013 | By Martin Eichner
Question: My family and I moved to our apartment two years ago. We have paid our full rent on time, every month. Last week, the apartment manager said the ownership has a new policy that requires me to give her my Social Security number. She said if I failed to do so, she would terminate my tenancy. I don't have a Social Security number. My husband and I are undocumented immigrants from Mexico, and we aren't authorized to get Social Security numbers. I pay taxes using my taxpayer identification number.
BUSINESS
April 28, 2002 | LIZ PULLIAM WESTON, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Question: You've written before about how important it is to protect your Social Security number to prevent identity theft. But it seems like every form I fill out these days asks for my number. When do I have to reveal my number, and when can I keep it to myself? Answer: If taxes or credit decisions are involved, you'll usually need to divulge your Social Security number.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett (D-San Leandro) is making a second attempt to regulate social network websites, including Facebook and Twitter, amid privacy concerns. With support from Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, Corbett has introduced a bill that would require the websites to remove personal identifying information on minors upon the request of their parents, and allow adults to have their own information taken down. “Unsuspecting children and teenagers are oftentimes prime targets for online predators that use these sites to prey on vulnerable young people," Corbett said in a statement.  A similar but broader bill by Corbett failed to win approval in 2011 after aggressive lobbying against it by a coalition of firms, including Google, Facebook and Twitter.
NATIONAL
March 12, 2013 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck were among a high-powered roster of public figures whose personal and financial information was posted on the Internet. The data, which include purported home addresses, Social Security numbers, phone numbers and credit reports, appeared on a website that seemed to originate in Russia. The Secret Service and the FBI said Tuesday that they were opening investigations, and President Obama confirmed the apparent breach.
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