— NPR's Larry Abramson reports on the increasingly important role the Social Security registration number has taken on as a means of identifying people for purposes other than Social Security. In order to protect privacy and prevent fraud, some members of Congress want to restrict the use of Social Security numbers. However, Social Security numbers have become so important to so many business and government data bases, that it's hard to imagine what would replace them.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.