Another Level of Bureaucracy Added to SF State
SF State to Say Good Bye to those Nine Familiar Numbers
December 3, 2004 1:42 AM
Soon SF State students will no longer be required to identify themselves by their social security number. Begining the 2005 fall semester, current and continuing students will be issued a new, unique 9-digit number to use for identification on the university campus, according to Suzanne Dmytrenko, university registrar.
“We have not had any ID thefts that I know of on this campus. But we are trying to be proactive about it,” Dmytrenko said about keeping faculty, staff and student records safe.
Records at SF State’s Department of Public Safety concur. No incidents of identity theft with a Social Security number have been reported, according to Jennifer Schwartz, DPS senior sergeant.
Last year the academic senate and university administration decided to take this on as a major project due to increased sensitivity to identity theft, said Dmytrenko. It also runs parallel to the request by California State University Chancellor Reed that each CSU look into finding more ways to keep student and employee information confidential.
“One did not influence the other,” Dmytrenko said about the chancellor-initiated project called the Confidentiality and Information Security Project (CISP) and the campus’ own move toward unique campus ID numbers. The change to SFSU ID numbers was in the works prior to Reed’s request. Dmytrenko also acts as a chair of the CISP.
Except for tax identification and other legal purposes, the university will not use social security numbers to identify students.
This change is good news for students like Brian Tatro, 20, who have been uneasy about using such sensitive information during his studies at SF State.
Due to concern of his social security number being compromised, Tatro says he would tell his instructors he would rather have his ID number and course grade omitted from a publicly posted class list than have his social security number displayed.
“I’d say about 90 percent respected my wishes and didn’t post my grade [on the list],” he said.
Students will not need to do much to prepare for the conversion to SFSU ID, according to administrators. New and continuing students will begin picking up their new ID cards during the re-carding of the campus community prior to the new fall semester. Further details of the process will be physically or electronically mailed to students in the summer.
However, some things will still be the same, The new cards will still feature a photograph of the student and offer the same services, such as use as a copy machine debit card and keeping track of meals at the residence halls’ dining center.
Further, the new SFSU ID number, which will be found on the card’s face, will be useful only at SF State and, will still be pin-protected with a personal access code(PAC). Although it will also be a 9-digit number assigned to a single student, unlike a social security number, it cannot be used to open a bank account, or even obtain the student’s information from other California State University campus. It only has meaning to the systems at SF State, according to Dymtrenko.
Along with the number change, the ONEcard office, the entity in charge of student ID cards, wants to allow students more use with their cards. Currently, they are looking to negotiate vendors, such as the bookstore, to accept the ID card as a debit card.
“Right now it’s a matter of getting people to buy into the program,” said Alexia Devlin, ONEcard office manager. She is also trying to find local businesses who will accept the new SFSU card.
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