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Research Hampered by Limited Access to Death Files

PRIVACY

October 9, 2012

The New York Times reports on the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) limit on access to death records and the resulting effects on research initiatives. The SSA decided last year that, under the law, state records on deaths are exempted from public disclosures. Researchers conducting studies on diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular treatments say they depended on access to that data, and their work has been slowed by the changes. A spokesman for the financial industry said such limited access makes it increasingly difficult to detect the theft of Social Security numbers from deceased individuals. (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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