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The University is undertaking a comprehensive initiative to phase out systematically its use of Social Security numbers (SSNs) wherever possible. Although SSNs must be collected for selected business functions, such as meeting Federal requirements to produce W-2 tax forms and financial aid reporting, the University will be altering other business functions to use University ID numbers in place of SSNs wherever possible.
The transition away from SSN use will take time and will likely not occur without some inconvenience and process disruption. However, the resulting enhancement in the privacy and security of personal information the University must maintain about its students, faculty, and staff makes the effort very worthwhile.
View the Multilayered Plan for University Data Minimization (PDF, 140 KB)
Identity Finder software available to faculty and staff
Identity Finder software can be used to scan computer hard drives and other electronic storage media for SSN and credit card data. The University has purchased a bulk license for this product, providing free copies for University faculty and staff. For more information, see Identity Finder at UVa. UVa testers have found this to be a superior product to Spider, referenced in some of the SSN Initiative documents.
Records Retention and SSNs
A statement posted 03/25/09 on the relationship between records retention and disposal requirements and SSN remedation.
Official U.Va. Institutional Data Protection Standards Released (08/04/09)
These define standards for protection and use of all institutional data including highly sensitive data, which include SSNs.