Recently, Dave Mark at The Loop commented on the news that many colleges would be enabling digital student IDs on Apple Wallet on iPhones and Apple Watches:
As recently as a few years ago, a large number of colleges used a student’s social security number as their student ID and, even worse, printed those numbers on the physical cards students had to carry.
I commented on the site:
Still!!! Good god, I thought this was a bad Idea when I was in college in the late 1980’s. Having the full SS# on display with name photo and birthdate was an invitation to have your credit ruined.
A very patient criminal could have gotten a food service job at the college, harvested information while handling the ID’s (which were used to get meals) wait a 5-10 years for the students to build up credit after graduation and employment (maybe do a little research to find the more well off grads) and then go to town with identiy theft.
On a lesser scale the SS# was also used for our computer accounts and e-mail addresses, but only the last 4 digits. Though if one could learn where one first got their SS# they could deduce the first three digits, leaving only two to guess.
Hopefully projects like this will help improve student ID security. God knows it couldn’t get much worse.