According to a Consumers Union telephone poll, 89% of respondents want companies to stop requiring them to provide their Social Security number.
The survey showed almost 90% of Americans have been asked to share their Social Security numbers during the past 12 months, oftentimes to companies who don’t really need it.
The breakdown is 60% for financial institutions, 49% for healthcare providers, 26% for cable TV or cell phone carriers, 17% for utilities and 16% for retailers.
If your company doesn’t really need a person’s Social Security number, don’t ask for it. You’ll be less vulnerable in the event of a data loss and your clients will thank you for it. If you do need a customer’s Social Security number, make sure you protect it (along with all the other forms of non-public information) and be sure your ID Theft prevention program is in place.