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 University of Illinois Social Security Policy at UIC

A Social Security number (SSN) has several purposes, all involving identifying an individual: it is an individual's Tax Identification Number (TIN, that's income tax) and therefore it is used in employment and banking records, on scholarship and loan applications, and for credit accounts and credit records, as well as its original task, to identify the individual's Social Security records. These records define the individual's financial life; it is vital to keep Social Security numbers private to prevent identity theft.

In January, 2000, the University of Illinois adopted an SSN policy designed to protect the privacy of the members of the University population. The long-term goal is to never use the SSN for identification purposes (except for employment and applications for financial aid); its use is to be replaced by the University Identification number (UIN), the number in blue on the university i-card ID card.

The short-term goal of the UofI SSN Policy, to be enacted for fall semester 2002, is that an approved disclosure policy be developed for all UIC forms (written, online, and oral) that continue to use the SSN, saying

  1. What statute or other authority permits asking for the SSN.
  2. Whether disclosure is mandatory or voluntary.
  3. What the consequences of not providing the SSN are.
  4. What uses will be made of the SSN.

This will begin to make the University of Illinois compliant with the Privacy Act of 1974, which states that public colleges that ask students for their Social Security numbers must inform them whether the disclosure is voluntary.

The University of Illinois Social Security Policy Web Site

The University of Illinois Web site Social Security Policy has information for anyone who is interested how this initiative will affect them. On the UofI SSN Web site,

Some Basic Informtion

The following information is available through links on the University of Illinois Social Security Policy Web site;

  • An overall introduction to the problem and our responsibilities
  • Sample disclosure statements

And the handouts from the UIC SSN Seminar given on October 22, 2002: UIC SSN Policy Implementation (PDF; 663KB).

For more information, see the University SSN Policy Web Site.

If you have any problems or questions, please send email to UIC-SSN@uic.edu.


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