Tech | October 4, 2017 11:18 am

White House Official Thinks We’re Coming to the End of Social Security Numbers

Alternatives include cryptographic keys or a combination of random numbers.

White House Official Thinks We’re Coming to the End of Social Security Numbers
via Drizly

President Donald Trump’s administration is exploring ways to replace Social Security numbers with a safer system in the wake of the Equifax hack, writes The Wall Street Journal. 

One option could be to use cryptographic keys, or a combination of long random numbers, to unlock personal information. Rob Joyce, the White House’s cybersecurity coordinator, said that these numbers could be “revoked once they are found to be compromised,” according to The Wall Street Journal. 

At a cybersecurity conference hosted by The Washington Post, Joyce said that the feels “very strongly” that Social Security is outdated and has “outlived its usefulness.” According to The Wall Street Journal, Joyce said that we put our Social Security number at risk every time we use it. Joyce’s own Social Security number has been compromised four times, The Wall Street Journal writes. Joyce thinks there can be a more modern system, using today’s technology.

Joyce spoke on this matter while members of Congress questioned former Equifax Chief Executive Richard Smith at a House panel hearing, The Wall Street Journal reports, asking about how the data breach which affected 145.5 million Americans occurred. The hack exposed personal data, including people’s Social Security numbers and dates of birth.

According to The Wall Street Journal, some Democratic lawmakers are calling for new regulations for the credit-rating industry. Some have suggested shifting the control of personal data to individuals by letting them decide whether to opt in or out of the credit bureaus’ systems.