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social security numbers

  • 1.  social security numbers

    Posted 30 days ago
    for higher education institutions out there - can you please reply with if you store social security numbers on alumni?  If so - why?  If so - in full or just a portion (like last 4)?  if not - why and how does this impact your research team?

  • 2.  RE: social security numbers

    Posted 30 days ago

    We do not store SSN for our alumni.  The liability of keeping that information is no longer worth the risk/liability in the event of a breach (physical/online/etc).  Most vendors can effectively use other data points to determine a specific match (research purposes) in building profiles/returning data. 


    Mark Walcott, Ph.D.


  • 3.  RE: social security numbers

    Posted 30 days ago
    I agree completely.  Storing of SSNs largely became a thing of the past a decade or more ago.  While we kept them for a while at Duke, we eliminated that practice in 2000.  The risk far outweighed the reward!


    John H. Taylor
    John H. Taylor Consulting, LLC
    2604 Sevier St.
    Durham, NC   27705
    919.816.5903 (cell/text)

    Serving the Advancement Community Since 1987

  • 4.  RE: social security numbers

    Posted 30 days ago
    Can anyone share what the perceived value of an SSN is these days? To my knowledge if you have a birth date there is nothing more you can find with an SSN. Just use a different field in AlumniFinder, LexisNexis, etc. This feels like high risk and NO reward.


    Jon W. Garrow | Director of Prospect Development
    Advancement | Willamette University

  • 5.  RE: social security numbers

    Posted 30 days ago
    I think that it is an accurate unique identifier.  No question that in lieu of other data that may change, SSN will always identify that particular person.  And in particular if DOB information isn't available.

    Granted, I don't believe its worth the risk at all.

    Dariel Dixon
    Business Analyst
    REX Healthcare Foundation

  • 6.  RE: social security numbers

    Posted 30 days ago



    As my institution is in NY, we no longer store SSNs in our system of record (and they were permanently deleted many years ago). 

    The "why" is simple –
    SSNs are considered Personally Identifiable Information under the NYS Information Security Breach and Notification Act.

    As for "impact to research" –

    Our prospect research team has a fair amount of data and wide range of tools when doing their work.
    They still achieve remarkable results without the need of an SSN.




    Christopher Amherst (he, him, his)

    Assistant Director of Advancement Information Systems

    Development and Alumni Relations

    M 240.412.7929 P 585.475.2959 F 585.475.7004



    Rochester Institute of Technology
    116 Lomb Memorial Drive, USC 03401/Rochester, NY 14623




    Connect with us: RIT   RIT   RIT



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