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Why Google Wants Your Kid's SSN 391

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the hello-toby-from-madison dept.
Jamie found a somewhat creepy story about a kid's art contest run by Google. As part of the entry, they need the last 4 digits of a social security number. The article suggests that the information requested by the contest should make it possible to guess at, and compile a list of children's social security numbers. It's bizarre and worth your read.
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Why Google Wants Your Kid's SSN

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  • by commodore6502 (1981532) on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @10:40AM (#35289902)

    They aren't working. They aren't earning money, therefore they aren't depositing cash into an SSI account yet. Not until the kid starts working (age 16; 18; whatever) do they need to apply for an SSN.

  • While your points are well-taken, complaining that it's really the government's fault when google collects information which could be harmful to you is like saying that it's really god's fault when someone shoots you to death because he declared that impacts from high-velocity masses shall rearrange your internal organs.

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @10:55AM (#35290078)

    I don't know how the US got this meme that knowing your SSN somehow proved your identity. Of course once that meme has developed and companies start using the SSN as a password, people become very protective of their SSNs, and the idea that it's a special number that requires protection becomes self-reinforcing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @01:12PM (#35291388)

    I've recently run into a brick wall where Google wanted more info out of me than I was prepared to give.

    I use Gmail to act as the mail servers for one of my domains, and recently needed to add a couple more user accounts to it.
    Only problem is, when I go to their control panel Google are now demanding that I 'verify' myself, supposedly to prevent abuse.
    Sounds simple enough, normally with Google I've just had to upload a file to the webserver or add an entry into the DNS records to prove ownership of the domain to them.

    Oh not this time. Now have to enter my mobile phone number, and they'll send out a 'verification code' that I have to reenter. Until I do that, the control panel is locked and I can't change anything*

    I've asked Google several times now to explain how they think this is supposed to verify anything about my domain, and have only received one reply (and that was because the help droid totally misread my email and unhelpfully gave me instructions on how to recover my password!), but yet still no answer or help on using another method of verification.
    Simply put, since they have no previous record of my mobile number, I could be anyone entering a mobile number on that form. It proves absolutely nothing about my rights over the domain name.

    All it is, is yet another way for Google to scrape more information about me, under the guise of 'security'.

    *Their 'security' is a joke anyway. The way they've locked down the control panel is to simply run a script *AFTER* the control panel has loaded, which just redirects you to their verification page. All you have to do is simply press the 'stop' button in your browser after the panel has loaded, and the redirect never happens.. leaving you with full access to make whatever changes you need.

    If anyone from Google is reading:
    I reported this to Google over 3 weeks ago. No reply , and your lame 'security' is still as lame as it was then ! .. somehow I'm not suprised.
    It's clear you don't give a shit about your users, as long they keep feeding you the data you crave. So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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