Student IDs and security

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.