The University of Georgia (which I attend) has instituted a “new” policy this year: our Student ID numbers are a sixteen-digit string assigned to us when we enroll as freshmen, whereas in previous years our Student ID was our SSN.
Semi-aside: For background, this sixteen-digit string is printed on our ID cards and has always been tied to keycard or PIN entry into dorms or dining halls (one must either scan their card or enter said string then stick their hand into a scanner to gain entry). They’ve just been expanded to serve as ID numbers in the classroom, as well. Officially, this is how it is supposed to have been all along, but up until this year our SSN’s were our classroom ID numbers (by which I mean they were used to identify us on class rosters).
Almost universally, up until this year, when a test was administered to us we were told to put our SSN and full name on the Scantron (multiple-choice, computer scored answer sheet). The policy change has gotten me to wondering: how dangerous was this practice? If a professor had accidentally dropped or otherwise misplaced one of these sheets, how easy would it be for someone to snatch the test-owner’s identity from just a full name and SSN?
Also, and I’m sure this goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway: let’s try to avoid writing out an instruction manual for stealing identities. I’m just curious as to the relative stupidity of the former policy.