Social Security Numbers (SSN) have been used as a means to identify and authenticate individuals. Expanded use of the SSN has increased efficiency, enabling Department of Defense (DoD) information systems and processes to interoperate and transfer information with a greatly reduced chance of errors. However, the threat of identity theft has rendered this widespread use unacceptable, resulting in the requirement that all federal agencies evaluate how the SSN is used and eliminate its unnecessary use whenever possible.
DoD policy states that all DoD personnel shall reduce or eliminate the use of SSN’s whenever possible. Acceptable uses of the SSN are those that are provided for by law, require interoperability with organizations beyond the DoD or are required by operational necessities.
The DoD vehicle utilized to authorized the use of social security numbers is known as an SSN Justification Memo. The Defense Privacy, Civil Liberties, and Transparency Division is the final approval authority for the memo.
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