Modernizing the Social Security Number: A Foundation for Online Authentication of Identity

Please join us on Wednesday, October 10, for a discussion on modernizing the Social Security Number (SSN), with opening keynote remarks by Congressman Sam Johnson (R – TX). Congressman Johnson is a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means where he serves as the Chairman of the Social Security Subcommittee. The opening remarks will be followed by remarks by Candace Worley, Vice President and Chief Technical Strategist at McAfee, and a panel discussion.

Securely establishing identity online has been a problem for the internet from the start. In the U.S., birth certificates and the SSN are the starting point for a patchwork of private credentials for online identification but the SSN is easily stolen and misused, and is not designed to work in a digital environment. Modernizing the Social Security Number could play a central role in changing identity authentication systems for the better.

The panel will discuss the challenges in improving identity authentication systems and what initial steps can be taken to improve privacy and security. We will also discuss the issues that have arisen from using the Social Security Number as an authenticator and explore potential models for a modernized identity system.
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