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View Diary: Data Grab? Experian now controls web access to Social Security Admin (322 comments)

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  •  Experian has no access to Social Security data (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, FG

    They were hired to verify identity based on their own records. If they are bad at that then the worst that happens is you have to go down to an SSA office and verify your identity in person. That is inconvenient, but if anything this is the Social Security Administration weighing security much higher than convenience.

    •  weighing security theater (16+ / 0-)

      much higher than our convenience and for Expierian's benefit. I'm sorry, but this should not be handed over to a private firm with a track record like Experian has.

      I shave my legs with Occam's razor~

      by triv33 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 08:09:02 AM PST

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    •  Sure, if you have a car that works well and (10+ / 0-)

      you are still able to drive.  Not to mention being willing to spend an entire day or two waiting in the SSA office which could be impossible if you have diabetes (no food or drink allowed so no insulin cooler either) or other medical conditions that prevent you from sitting in a chair for 6 hours without anything to eat or drink.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 08:32:16 AM PST

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      •  So what is your alternative? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FG, DRo

        If Social Security offered online access to your earnings record based on you typing in your social security number, date of birth, and place of birth and that turned out to be insecure how would you feel?

        The last thing SSA wants is for you to clog up their phone lines and/or waiting rooms.

        The whole point of getting this stuff to work online is precisely to avoid the inconvenience of having to visit the office, which is why you have to have some adequate solution for providing security for people's private information.  

        Perhaps SSA takes this too seriously. After all, just a couple years ago they put all this information in plain white envelope and mailed it to you.

        •  mailed it to you (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fuzzyguy, gooderservice, poligirl, JesseCW

          through what? A private company or the United States Postal system?

          I shave my legs with Occam's razor~

          by triv33 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 09:31:45 AM PST

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          •  Does it matter? Mail is not exactly the most (0+ / 0-)

            secure thing in the universe. And it has nothing to do with USPS. People can just pick a mailbox.

            •  ? (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DRo, poligirl, JesseCW, gooderservice

              Um, let me explain. I'm saying that it is one US government agency (SS) handing my info to another US government entity (USPS) instead of Johnny Fly-By-Night bike messenger. You seem to be saying it doesn't matter a tinker's damn either way, that the mail might as well be Johnny-Fly-By-Night, but that's not the point, that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish, and I'm not here to talk about fish. I'm talking about my government info not being outsourced to a private company.

              I shave my legs with Occam's razor~

              by triv33 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 10:20:36 AM PST

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        •  If SSA can't create a secure web site, they have (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          triv33, gooderservice, poligirl

          no business being around.

        •  Do you work for Experian? (6+ / 0-)

          From your posts above, are you saying that Experian is the only online authentication available to the Soc Sec admin?

          Does Experian handle all of the authentication for banks, utilities, and other business transactions that are done online?

          The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

          by dfarrah on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 09:42:38 AM PST

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          •  No, I don't work for Experian or SSA (0+ / 0-)

            If you think Experian is a lousy company to do this then you should tell us who does it better.

            I have no idea about that.

            But whether Experian has errors in their database, or they choose too many unreliable questions as the basis to verify who you are, it has nothing to do with some private company getting access to your social security records. It has nothing to do with the government collecting additional data they have no business collecting.

            If everyone had retina scanners in their home, and the government had a database of everyone's retina the answer would be easy.

            Alternatively, you could suggest SSA lower it's security standards.

            •  ok, i will tell ya. let's take a little of the... (8+ / 0-)

              drone money, or DoD money and make SS's system secure instead of farming it out to a company that known for fuckups.

              but don't tell me the gov't can't do it. they can and they should. period. this is one of those jobs that gov't should be the only one doing.

              There’s a word for the people who keep complaining that the “ideologues” are getting in their way: Lobbyists. ~ RJ Eskow

              by poligirl on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 11:07:54 AM PST

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            •  going further, i want to see the competitive... (6+ / 0-)

              bid records for this contract, if there indeed was one or if Experian didn't just grease some wheels to get it, no bid necessary.

              if it was a no bid situation, we need to stop that bullshit - that's on the level of Dick fucking Cheney/Halliburton crap and i expect this gov't to do a LOT better than that.

              There’s a word for the people who keep complaining that the “ideologues” are getting in their way: Lobbyists. ~ RJ Eskow

              by poligirl on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 11:10:03 AM PST

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            •  Well, I did ask (6+ / 0-)

              who provides the authentication for other online services.  

              I bank online.  Does experian handle all the banks?  I pay electric, phone, internet, water, and credit cards online.  Does experian handle all of those, too?  And I have a couple of retirement accounts at different trustees--does experian handle those?

              You make it sound like experian is the only game in town, so I was just asking.

              The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

              by dfarrah on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 11:10:47 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The California DMV can do their own on-line (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gooderservice

                verification.

                The IRS can verify me and process my lil' 1040 EZ over the phone.

                The EDD can handle my UI application on-line all by themselves like big kids.

                But not Social Security.  They need Experian.

                "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

                by JesseCW on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 11:41:15 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  SSA takes applications online already (0+ / 0-)

                  They are using Experian to authenticate people for an on-going suite of services organized under the MySSA web portal. E.g. access to your earnings history  This is not the same as applying for benefits online which you can do now without the Experian verification screen.

                   There is no argument that SSA is a very conservative organization that has primarily provided in-person service for 75 years. They are slow in getting to the new world. They are deathly afraid of compromising personal data, especially online. Less so than mailing a check to the wrong person, frankly.

        •  Well letting people at least have something to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gooderservice

          drink so they can take their medication would help.  Not to mention oh, actually calling people back like they promise to?

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 10:10:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Why do you care whether or not Experians (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gooderservice

      scam is ended?

      Why the hell would a person devote this much time and energy to making sure a filthy company manages to successfully profiteer from Social Security?

      It doesn't make any sense.

      "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

      by JesseCW on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 11:37:46 AM PST

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      •  Filthy company is an understatement, but (0+ / 0-)

        point well made.

      •  I have been pretty clear (0+ / 0-)

        SSA does not give Experian access to Social Security data as the diarist claimed. If they did that would be a major scandal.

        SSA is not the one asking you how old your house is? Social Security does not maintain that information about you (they don't even know if you are married for chrissakes). If they did that would be a major scandal.

        If the public believes either of those things then they may not use the online services as readily as they might otherwise, which is a bad thing. It will cost, SSA, taxpayers, beneficiaries, and future beneficiaries time and money just as the workload of SSA is skyrocketing. It's part of my job to make sure people understand how Social Security does and does not work.

        I could care less if Experian is the one who provides online authentication. It could be some other company. It could be some other government agency. Sure let's let the NSA or the FBI do it.

        I would have thought SSA would have decided that they had the  ability to do this themselves. Years ago. They don't agree. They feel like they need a much higher level of security verification. Primarily because their address information sucks. But also because they got hammered by Congress the first time they tried to put the PEBES online (in 1998 or so I think). They more concerned about screwing up, than they are leading the pack into the future.

        Sure, I'd be happier if we could change the law to allow IRS to give SSA address data. That would solve most of the problem.

        The truth is that the culprit here is SSA"s culture of modernization, not some corporate conspiracy to scam profits out of the unsuspecting masses.

        •  Social Security is requiring YOU to give Experian (0+ / 0-)

          information in order to access your own information.

          That's the issue.

          It's been explained again and again and you keep sidestepping.

          Providing information and cash to Experian is a bad thing.  

          Raising hell and forcing the SSA to change is a good thing.

          Don't tell me you're against when I see you spending so much of your time supporting it.  That kind of doublespeak just destroys your credibility.

          "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

          by JesseCW on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 01:56:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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