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View Diary: Data Grab? Experian now controls web access to Social Security Admin (322 comments)

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  •  Providing a profit to Experian is "saving"? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, triv33, nchristine, gooderservice

    Frankly - bullshit.

    You keep expecting everyone to just accept your premise the SSA cannot manage this in house.

    The IRS can manage to authenticate me.  At the State level, everyone from the EDD to the DMV can authenticate me on-line.

    But not the SSA?  

    I've been to local offices a few times.  The people seemed reasonably intelligent.

    "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

    by JesseCW on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 11:56:44 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Your disapproval is blinding you (0+ / 0-)

      This is SSA's assessment, not mine. That's why it took them so long to do this.

      If you read my posts, I have been clear this is in no small part a function of their own standards for security. They know they have lousy address data. They are betting the credit industry has better data. They are not permitted, by law, to get the address information from your W2, even though IRS sends SSA the wage amounts from your W2 every year.  

      Authentication is a one-time cost, which if I am recalling correctly is much less than $1 a person. Let's just say total cost is $100 million. SSA was spending $70 million a year to mail out Social Security Statements. They have costs in the hundreds of millions  every year from traffic to their offices that could be much better done on-line (e.g. replacement SS cards; benefit verifications.)

      It is very possible that Experian makes a profit on one-time authentication, and that SSA saves by substituting online processes for paper and in-person processes over a very long time.

      By the way, the IRS does not authenticate you. It takes your signature, and your W2 as verification. It puts you in jail or takes your money if it can prove your are lying. And they take your money.  A major scandal right now is people using stolen SSNs and other personal info to file false returns that have refunds. IRS is not verifying your identity in those cases before paying a refund.

      DMV verifies you in person. Not on-line. SSA will do that as well.


      •  DMV happily verifies me On-Line. I can get all (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        triv33, Willa Rogers

        my records without going in.

        You're once again claiming that there is no alternative way to verify people without using a private corporation and giving them a profit.

        This is a nakedly pro-privatization argument.  

        "It's very possible that Experian makes a profit"???

        You can't just say "Of course they're taking a profit"?  You have to pretend it's just a possibility?

        The IRS is getting scammed on occasion. It's not perfect.  Neither is a "how many bedrooms is your house" system.

        Anyone closely related to you and knowledgeable about your finances could answer all those questions correctly anyway.

        Lastly, why the fuck is Experian getting a fat helping of our Social Security contributions to fail to verify people?

        You claim you're well informed (somehow) on all the details we peons don't have access too.  Ok.

        What's the false rejection rate?  Since your argument is that this scam is really a good thing that will benefit us all, and that as long as it gets people to use on-line services so that SSA can employ fewer people, isn't it all a waste if most people are being falsely rejected?

        "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

        by JesseCW on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 02:26:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Didn't DMV previously verify you in person? (0+ / 0-)

          I never claimed there was no alternate way, and I am a skeptic that SSA needs to use an outside service. What I said is that this is what SSA believes. And all that is beside the point that SSA is not giving access to their protected data.

          SSA contracts with plenty of people who do things more efficiently than they do. I don't expect SSA to invent their own phone system. They use ATT or Verizon's or whoever. Likewise, why should they employs hundreds of programmers, re-inventing the data base wheel.

          Lots of things only SSA can do. Private industry aggressively poaches SSA trained disability examiners, for example. Some things SSA should get help doing. I wish they would get some design pros to re-design their website for example.

          I don't disagree with you about the false rejection rate (although we both agree that errs on the side of not compromising your data and can be rectified). If SSA accepts too high a rate then they are wasting resources. That's why they have IG's offices, congressional staff, and other such nosey assholes. Of course the rejection rate before this was 0, and the online access was 0. Your willingness to balance false positives and false negatives has to do with your aversion to risk.

          You are assuming the equation is negative, without much data. Everything I have seen from the agency is they expect it to be a large positive. They are in big big trouble if they can't get online services working for them.

          As for the "fat helping of our Social Security contributions" my understanding is that the cost per person is measured in cents, not dollars. And once you are in, you are done with them.

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