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School Officials Tell Parents "Don't Provide SSNs"

PRIVACY LAW—U.S.

August 18, 2010

Concerned about a new Maine law requiring schools to collect students' Social Security numbers (SSNs), some local officials are encouraging parents not to provide the numbers to the state, Bangor Daily News reports. Brewer Superintendent Daniel Lee said parents should know they have the authority to decline providing their children's SSNs, which will be used to track students' progress for 12 years. Lee said the study is worthwhile, but shouldn't use SSNs as identifiers. The Maine Civil Liberties Union, which opposed the law from the start, says the Department of Education hasn't educated parents on the privacy risks. "Even the most secure databases are subject to breach," a spokeswoman said.
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