Skip to main content

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

Comment Preferences

  •  We're in big trouble if the richest country in (7+ / 0-)

    the world, supposedly the richest, can't secure and validate information for a program that's been in place for 76 years and has to pay such a fucked up private sector business like Experian to do it for them.

    How many bedrooms in your home?  You've got to be kidding.  That's really secure, huh?

    Go back to mailing the information through the government mail system until they can figure out this newfangled Internet that just went online yesterday.

    •  Concur. Go back to mailing annual statements. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gooderservice, poligirl, triv33, m16eib

      Is the SSA unaware that NOT EVERYONE even has a computer, or access to one.

      And, does the SSA want folks who don't have a personal computer to go down and use a computer at the public library for this sensitive type of information?  For Pete's Sake, what were these folks thinking.  

      Saving money on government mailings was part of Bowles-Simpson's recommendations.  Guess they thought they had to act immediately.

      Just found an AARP article.  Stopping the mailing of the benefit statements saves a paltry 60 million per year.  Bet it pales compared to what they pay Experian.  Here's the link.

      This was an ill-conceived policy change.  And clearly, the concern was NOT saving money.


      “If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

      by musiccitymollie on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 12:09:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The point your made is much, much bigger than (6+ / 0-)


        Is the SSA unaware that NOT EVERYONE even has a computer, or access to one.
        The private sector is NOT, I repeat NOT creating the infrastructure to bring high speed Internet access to EVERYONE no matter where they live in the U.S.

        Sure, if you're wealthy and want to pay thousands of dollars for the wire/cable to be run to your home from the nearest junction, sure.  

        Private sector companies won't do that because it's too costly to run the wire in rural areas.

        So when information from the government is only available online, it's just wrong, wrong, wrong.

        And OT, an elderly retired neighbor of mine who worked for local government recently had their health benefits change to be run by the state.  I accompanied him to a meeting where they were explaining what the changes were and yadda ya.

        They handed out  three pieces of paper when we walked in, mostly advertising the different companies, and there were representatives from the health insurance companies from which to choose that spoke.

        All these people kept saying one by one, to find out about this, go to this website, to find out about that, go to that website and so on.

        During the question and answer period, several elderly people stood up and stated they didn't have computers, so how could they find out this information.

        All of the responses were:  Go the library or get someone who has a computer to help you.

        I can't tell you how pissed I was listening to this shit, and I mean shit.  That's bullshit.  I felt so bad for these people who were being given these answers by healthcare insurance company representatives who kept smiling.  Bleh.

        And the people attending lived in an area where everyone had access to the Internet... if they could afford it and actually had a computer.

        And then there is the other issue of if you do have a computer, even if you're going to a "safe" site, that doesn't mean there aren't any keyloggers or malware on your computer to capture the sensitive information.

        This just stinks all around.

        (Sorry... stepping down now.)  

        •  Actually, thanks, gooderservice. Said it better (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          triv33, gooderservice, nchristine, m16eib

          than I could.

          We have a couple of very elderly aunts who do not have computers (one was childless, and other has three sons, none of which have home computers).  The sons can well afford a computer, but simply have no use for them.  [They also don't allow TV's in their homes, because they think they're a bad influence.]

          My point being that there are folks (including the three men who are younger than Boomers, sorry, not sure what that generation is called) that don't have one, whose close relatives don't have one, and for whom going to the public library to use one at ages 94 and 99, would be quite ridiculous.

          Thank you for sharing your experience with the insurance company reps.

          It's appalling to me that our government shows such insensitivity to the most vulnerable, and in some instances, the most economically hard-pressed members of our society.  

          Really, it's quite chilling.


          “If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

          by musiccitymollie on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 01:44:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Your bet (0+ / 0-)

        "Just found an AARP article.  Stopping the mailing of the benefit statements saves a paltry 60 million per year.  Bet it pales compared to what they pay Experian.  Here's the link."

        OK so what do you think they are paying Experian?

        Do you think this information is public?

        Do you think SSA might be planning to save on other online services?

        How much do you plan to bet?

    •  You are confused about what Security means (0+ / 0-)

      They are happy to verify you in person. The problem they have is doing it online.

      After Hurricane Katrina, when people lost everything., They set up shop in shelters and issued people temporary ID based on data only they had in their system (and only they could access in a practical way). They were the only government agency capable of doing this.

      Currently SSA can give you an estimate of your benefits based on your earnings history, without all the rig-a-ma-roll.

      They can take your application for retirement or disability benefits (DI not SSI) online.

      What they are unwilling to do is potentially compromise your personal earnings record information online unless they are convinced they can verify your identity online. That is they set their own standard for security extremely high.

      The problem is not that they are unsecure. It is that they want to be more secure than is perhaps reasonable.

      •  Quit your insults. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poligirl, triv33, m16eib

        I'm not confused because I won't adopt your bullshit. Sorry, ain't happening.

      •  then make them secure. PERIOD. do not... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gooderservice, triv33, m16eib

        outsource this shit.

        i don't know how much clearer we can get here.

        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 12:56:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is a no brainer. Yet for some reason (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          poligirl, triv33, m16eib

          there are Experian champions.  Go figure.

        •  Your social security records ARE secure (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Maybe too secure if people are having so much trouble accessing online what used to come in the mail.

          Why is this confusing?

          •  It's not confusing - Experian does not have (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            triv33, m16eib, poligirl

            100% accurate data in their system.  Experian is wanting answers based upon that data in their system.  Experian will not release, nor change, what information they have on you, even when you have a lawyer tell them it's not correct.  How difficult is that to understand??

            Their 'security' questions are based upon faulty data and some data that most reasonable people would not be expected to remember (when did you get your first credit card??? - who really knows that answer and why would they want to remember something that trivial??).

            •  Right (0+ / 0-)

              So the problem is not that Experian authenticates people who it should not (unless someone can somehow guess the inaccurate data they maintain), but that it falis to authenticate people it should. In other words, SSA by accepting Experian's verification is keeping some data private (from the person who record it is) when it should not.

              In this case you can go directly to SSA and they will authenticate you in person. No need to go through Experian at all. In fact you can do that directly and never bother with Experian in the first place. Is that a pain? Yes. Of course a few years ago you still had to go to an office in person to file for benefits. You still have to go in person to get a replace SS card

              The alternative is that SSA simply authenticates you online using the information they have. and the real-time response capability they have. Their concern in this case however is that they will in fact authenticate some people who they should not. (Once you log in they offer you the choice to use an additional layer of security, each time you login in they text you a code, and you have to enter it). And that they will reap the negative repercussions of that. Of course it is true that someone could spoof the Experian screen, but SSA thinks it is harder to do that.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site