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This page last updated April 19, 2010 12:33 PM

Project Timeline and Status

 
Impact Project Announcements Project Timeline & Status SSN
 
Activity Timeline Background Solution Team Members

Background

Discussions concerning development of a truly unique single identifier for all Tech constituents actually began about two years ago. Various departments and business offices staff were voicing concerns over the problems and complications that have arisen over the years from trying to use SSNs as a key identifier. Georgia Tech is a very diverse community with many constituents from other countries who do not have SSNs upon arrival. Each business area developed its own process for assigning temporary IDs. As more and more automated systems were implemented and business processes became more integrated, the problem of having multiple ids assigned to one individual became more prevalent. Specific concerns are identified in the Multiple ID Report. (PDF. This format requires the free Adobe Acrobat reader.)

A campus-wide team was created to address the many ID problems. Discussions soon turned to concerns of confidentiality and protecting the campus community from identity fraud. The team’s solution was to create unique identifiers (gtID#s) and eliminate SSNs as unique identifier across all systems and applications.

The committee’s solution, the creation of a unique identifier (gtID#) was presented to Provost Jean-Lou Chameau, Senior Vice President of Administration and Finance Robert Thompson in October 2001. The gtID# recommendation was approved and the committee was charged with forming an implementation committee, and create the project plan including anticipated budget needs. (Presentation.PDF. This format requires the free Adobe Acrobat reader.)

An implementation committee was formed in the spring of 2002 with a project “go live” date of March 1, 2003. The cross functional committee is comprised of various representatives across the campus. The committee was tasked with the responsibility of making appropriate changes to all systems/applications to eliminate SSNs as the key; re-define business processes where necessary; be in full compliance with the Federal Privacy Act; and ensure the Institute is taking all necessary precautions to safeguard the privacy and confidentiality of the Georgia Tech community.

Discussions were also underway within the Board of Regents (BOR) concerning the appropriate use of SSNs. In August 2002, the BOR issued “Protecting Student Identity, Principles of Good Practice” (PDF, requires the free Adobe Acrobat reader) to address the use of SSN as a student identifier within the University System. The document states: “Beginning Summer 2003, institutions are encouraged to implement the necessary business practices and procedures to replace the use of the social security number as the primary student identification number”. The BOR estimates that all University System schools will complete the transition by 2005.