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Dear Colleagues,

In this age of electronic commerce, we are all concerned about the issue of identity theft. In fact, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation last year to protect the privacy of Social Security Numbers by amending the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act. The Act mandates, "On and after July 1, 2004, no agency shall display the Social Security Number of a data subject on a student or employee identification card, except for universities and colleges that have such a prevention plan for misuse of personal information in place on or before July 1, 2004, in compliance with this section, the date shall be January 1, 2005. On and after July 1, 2006, no agency shall display an individual's entire Social Security Number on any student or employee identification card."

In order to comply with this legal requirement, a University-wide committee has developed a plan to discontinue our current practice of using the Social Security Number as the primary identification number for all faculty, staff and students. A new system-generated University Identification Number (UIN) will become the primary identifier used to create records in the administrative system (Banner), for display on identification cards issued by the University Card Center or other instances where the Social Security Number currently is used.

The new UIN will be an 8-digit number, reducing possible confusion with the Social Security Number. Individuals using a previously generated ID number in Banner will be able to maintain the number already issued. From now on, all new applicants and employees will be identified using the new UIN.

As required by law, the University will continue to collect the Social Security Number from students and employees for reporting to the Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies. New policies have been written regarding the legitimate use of the Social Security Number and the appropriate use of the UIN. Those policies are under review by legal counsel.

The target date for conversion to the new UIN is the week of May 10, 2004. This project is a significant undertaking for the University Card Center. Each member of the faculty, staff and student body must eventually be issued a new University ID card. The Card Center is developing a plan for the issuance of new ID cards and will announce a schedule soon. Faculty, staff and students will be able to use the currently issued ID card for a reasonable period of time after the conversion, but they should get a replacement card soon after the schedule is announced.

All areas should review forms, files and all documents where the Social Security Number is currently maintained or requested, whether on paper or through various electronic means. The goal is to replace the Social Security Number with the UIN.

Thank you very much for your attention to and your assistance with this important undertaking. It is a large project that will affect every member of the University community. More information will be available soon.

Sincerely yours,

Roseann Runte
Old Dominion University

This article was posted on: March 19, 2004

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.