BotScout writes "The nation's Social Security numbering scheme has left millions of citizens vulnerable to privacy breaches, according to researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, who for the first time have used statistical techniques to predict Social Security numbers solely from an individual's date and location of birth. The researchers used the information they gleaned to predict, in one try, the first five digits of a person's Social Security number 44 percent of the time for 160,000 people born between 1989 and 2003. A Social Security Administration spokesman said the government has long cautioned the private sector against using a social security number as a personal identifier, even as it insists 'there is no fool-proof method for predicting a person's Social Security Number.'" Update: 07/07 00:01 GMT by T : Reader angrytuna links to Wired's coverage of the SSN deduction system, and links to the researchers' FAQ at Carnegie Mellon, which says that the research paper will be presented at BlackHat Las Vegas later this month.
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