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john65pennington's avatar

Would photo ID on Social Security Cards deter identity theft?

Asked by john65pennington (29080 points ) October 31st, 2010

We have photo Id’s on drivers license, so why not on our Social Security cards? There is a two-fold reason for this: 1. Some people have lost their drivers license due to traffic tickets or other means. A Social Security Card photo Id could be used in lieu of the lost drivers license for identification purposes. 2. Social Security cards are a main form of identification and are frequently stolen for criminal gain. And, isn’t it time for a roll call, to see just who does and does not belong in America? New Social Security photo Id cards would give America a “fresh start” in solving identity theft. The cost to make this transition would be heavy, but so are foreign wars that we will never win. Question: Would photo Id’s on Social Security cards deter identity theft?

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7 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

I don’t think it would deter identity theft really. There are so many things you can apply for online or through the mail without ever showing a picture ID of who you are, so it wouldn’t matter at all if there was a picture on the card or not. I had my debit card number stolen somehow and someone made charges online with that information (without even using my real name on the transaction), so pictures really aren’t going to stop it.

As far as using it as an ID for people that lost their license, most stated have ID cards for people that don’t have a driver’s license. So it’s really not necessary to put a picture on the social security card as well.

birdland33's avatar

Not sure, but…

Because in order to file a tax return and have children listed as dependents Social Security numbers are necessary from birth a photo ID would have to be reissued on a regular basis.

What it would do is drive the cost up significantly if people had to revisit a SS office for updated cards. It would also mean increased cost because the cards could no longer be flimsy paper.

We do not use SS numbers as forms of ID often enough to make a photo feasible.

Vigilance is a better theft deterent that photo’d SS cards would ever be.

ragingloli's avatar

Germany had photos on their ID cards since ages, and it apparently did not deter identity theft, as they are now pushing towards putting fingerprints on them.

jaytkay's avatar

Rightwingers believe the census is a communist plot and Obama has a brownshirt army confiscating guns and rounding up people into FEMA concentration camps. You think the GOP will support a national ID card?

On second thought, I guess it’s how you sell it. If it is presented, as you do here, as an anti-Mexican measure to eliminate people who do not “belong in America”, you could probably get the teabaggers demanding it.

thekoukoureport's avatar

Identity theft is the greatest sham ever put upon the world. To base our lives on an abstract number(credit score) and then make us responsable for the security of a number that we have absolutely no control over (ssn) is the greatest con ever put upon the public.

Hooray for corporations!!! they win again. woo hoo
please vote tuesday.

Nullo's avatar

Your social security card is issued more or less when you’re born. Adding a photo to it would take time and trouble that nobody wants and, as pointed out above, wouldn’t make much difference anyway.

@jaytkay Actually, many ‘right-wingers’ recognize the census as one of the few powers that the Federal Government is explicitly granted in the Constitution, even though the purpose for which it was authorized (taxation of the states according to the size of their respective populations) no longer exists.
Don’t you think that Barry would confiscate guns if he thought that he could? There are some people here on Fluther who would do precisely that.

The gripe with the Mexicans is that some of them are here illegally, and that some are rather anti-American. It’s hardly ‘anti-Mexican’.

Joybird's avatar

You do know that you can get just about any kind of photo id you want just by crossing the border into Canada. That where all the minors in NYS go to get their phoney id. I would imagine those committing identity thefts are aware of this too.

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