Institute of Technology
Approved August 2002
Social Security Number Policy
This policy addresses the requirements of the Federal
Privacy Act of 1974 and amendments, regarding requests
by the Institute for Social Security Numbers (SSN) and
provides guidelines for policy and procedures on the proper
use and disclosure of the SSN to ensure that the Federal
Privacy Act requirements are met.
The Federal Privacy Act of 1974 and amendments establish
guidelines under which any state agency may request Social
Security Number from individuals. Individuals may not be
required to give their SSN unless specific to a Federal
or State statute. Agencies may not deny any right, benefit
or privilege to any individual because of their refusal
to disclose their SSN. It is incumbent on the Institute
to inform the individual whether the disclosure is mandatory
or voluntary, by what statute or other authority, and what
uses will be made of the Social Security Number. (Reference
The Social Security Number was not designed to serve
as a universal identification mechanism. Casual use of
the SSN has led to the escalation of the crime of identity
theft. With the SSN accessible to so many people, it is
possible for someone to fraudulently use an individual’s
Social Security Number to assume another identify and gain
access to financial and other personal information, risking
an individual’s personal credit and confidentiality.
For many years, SSN has been used as an identification
number in many computer systems; giving access to private
information and allowing an easy way to link database information.
Federal Privacy Act compliance serves as a deterrent to
identity theft and its consequences. It is the intent of
the Institute to take the necessary precautions to protect
the identity of all of its constituents.
III. Collection and Release of the Social Security Number
The Board of Regents (BOR) supports the use of alternate
identifiers for students as indicated below in the BOR
“The social security number shall be required from
all entering students for a permanent and lasting record.
When possible, an alternative number will be assigned and
used by institutions for all purposes, which do not require
the social security number. In no event shall grades be
posted by using the social security number. The University
System of Georgia is dedicated to insuring the privacy
and proper handling of confidential information pertaining
to students and employees.”
Georgia Tech will request that a student provide a Social
Security Number at the time of application to the Institute.
The Social Security Number will not be used as the student
ID number but will be provided to entities requiring Social
Security Number, including but not limited to the federal
government for financial aid and Tax Relief Act (1997)
reporting, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Board
of Regents of the University System of Georgia for statistical
reporting purposes and as required by court order in accordance
with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Information
on collection and disclosure of a student social security
number can be found in the General Catalog.
Georgia Tech will require that an employee provide a Social
Security Number at the time of employment. The Social Security
Number will not be used as an Employee ID number for internal
Institute uses, but will be provided to external entities
requiring Social Security Number, including but not limited
to federal, state and local governments, insurance carriers,
and retirement programs. Individuals who are affiliates
or vendors will be required to provide a Social Security
number for mandated tax reporting purposes.
A. Systems purchased or developed by Georgia Tech will
not use Social Security numbers as identifiers unless required
by law or business necessity.
B. All Georgia Tech employees, students and other individuals
that require an identifying number, will be assigned a
unique identification number that is not the same as, or
derived from, the individual’s Social Security number.
C. Systems purchased or developed by Georgia Tech will
use Social Security numbers as data elements only, not
as keys to databases.
D. Systems purchased or developed by Georgia Tech will
not display Social Security numbers visually, whether on
computer monitors, or on printed forms or other system
output, unless required by law or business necessity.
E. Name and directory systems purchased or developed by
Georgia Tech will be tied to an individuals’ unique
identification number, not social security number.
F. When databases require Social Security numbers, the
database will automatically cross-reference between the
Social Security number and other information through the
use of conversion tables with systems or other mechanical
G. No system or technology will be developed or purchased
by Georgia Tech unless it is compatible with these regulations.
DISCLOSURE OF SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER
Section 7 of Pub. L. 93-579 provided that: '(a)(1) It shall
be unlawful for any Federal, State or local government
agency to deny to any individual any right, benefit, or
privilege provided by law because of such individual's
refusal to disclose his social security account number.
'(2) the (The) provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection
shall not apply with respect to - '(A) any disclosure which
is required by Federal statute, or '(B) the disclosure
of a social security number to any Federal, State, or local
agency maintaining a system of records in existence and
operating before January 1, 1975, if such disclosure was
required under statute or regulation adopted prior to such
date to verify the identity of an individual. '(b) Any
Federal, State, or local government agency which requests
an individual to disclose his social security account number
shall inform that individual whether that disclosure is
mandatory or voluntary, by what statutory or other authority
such number is solicited, and what uses will be made of