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

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  •  The answer (0+ / 0-)

    First, Government agencies with sensitive information for the most part do not share it with other government agencies. That includes SSA, IRS, Census, CMS.

    Second, SSA has it's own very high security requirements. Why? Because they are a very conservative organization. They think if they screw up, Congress will murder them. So they are intent on not screwing up.

    Clearly they have created a security hurdle that is much higher than say banks have for allowing you to access and spend your actual money. They have set a security hurdle that is too high for them to adequate address with their own data and IT infrastructure.

    •  so then we invest the money into developing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nchristine, triv33, m16eib

      a security system that can be used individually by other departments.

      if the private sector can develop one, so can the public sector.

      saying that government can't is untruthful. saying the government won't is probably more what you're meaning. and to that i say pshaw!

      There’s a word for the people who keep complaining that the “ideologues” are getting in their way: Lobbyists. ~ RJ Eskow

      by poligirl on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 12:54:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If that was how government worked, great (0+ / 0-)

        No one said SSA can't do this. I said they decided that could not do it to their own satisfaction. That was their decision. Then again they are happy to verify you in-person.

        For whatever reason they were willing to do somethings by mail, than they are willing to do online.

        OK so you are a smart person: what pieces of information should SSA require to verify your identity online and give you access to your records?

        As a thought experiment think about how anyone can really know you are who you say you are?

        •  The very same can be said of Experian - (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          triv33, poligirl, m16eib
          OK so you are a smart person: what pieces of information should SSA require to verify your identity online and give you access to your records?
        •  someone higher up should tell them to... (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          m16eib, JesseCW, triv33, nchristine, angel d

          do it to their satisfaction instead of outsourcing something like this to a company known for fuckups.

          i worked around programmers and in IT for a good decade and if someone really wanted to have better security developed, they could.

          i think this was the easier decision for them - a decision to move some off of their plate. which is understandable. but, what i'm saying is that for things as important as SS - and i would daresay you probably think of SS as important - that we should never pass the buck to the private sector. and we should certainly be able to develop better security than the private sector, even at a high bar.

          i understand you're saying that this was the government's choice and why the government made that decision. i am telling you that in my opinion, the government's choice is piss poor, both in deciding that they didn't want to bother with/spend money developing a high bar security system AND the decision to outsource to Experian, of all places.

          There’s a word for the people who keep complaining that the “ideologues” are getting in their way: Lobbyists. ~ RJ Eskow

          by poligirl on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 02:29:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think you are missing something (0+ / 0-)

            SSA has no problem keeping your records private.

            SSA has no problem verifying your identity. They do it all the time in person. IN extreme circumstances they will actually verify a person's identity and cut them a check right there and then (as they did after Katrina, along with a note form the president of BoA and The Secretary of the Treasury attesting to any bank that the check was in fact authentic)

            What they don't have confidence in is verifying your identity online in real-time. They can't just say Oh fuck it, it's good enough for us. They think if they screw up--if some perpetrator of domestic violence somehow accesses the SS records of his spouse who has taken refuge in some undisclosed place, and then tracks her down and commits an act of violence--there will be hell to pay before congress. The public will demand they shut down online access, after all they have 1500 storefronts, etc... That's how they think.

            Anyway, so what is this high bar security system going to consist of. They can ask you about your name, birth date, SSN, mother's name, place of birth. they can ask you to verify your social security wages from your w2 for any year you worked. What if they decided that is not enough?

            They cannot verify your address, or phone number. They don't know if you are married, or if you own a house or have a bank account or credit card. I think they know the name of your employer. Not entirely sure.

            •  you are not understanding me. i am not... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              triv33, Sharon Wraight

              arguing that SSA can provide that level now and is choosing not to. and i am not arguing that SSA has a problem with keeping records private.

              what i am saying is that gatekeepers by nature, no matter how stringent, have access, at least some, the the gate; they could not gatekeep if that was not so.  and what i am saying is that if SSA cannot secure access enough to pass muster themselves they should not  farm out security even for access; they should say "fuck it" and not do it at this time.

              as for what a high bar system includes, well, i'm not a programmer, so i'm not going to speculate what is possible. but clearly there are a lot of people, including myself, who have been victims of Experian's special brand of misinformation, so much so that trusting them as gatekeepers is a very questionable idea to many of us. makes one wonder how they got the contract and what type of bidding process was undertaken to decide who got it.

              There’s a word for the people who keep complaining that the “ideologues” are getting in their way: Lobbyists. ~ RJ Eskow

              by poligirl on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 01:09:36 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  No, their standard isn't TOO high, it's based (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poligirl, triv33, m16eib

      upon data that is not always 100% accurate.

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