“The administration of President Donald Trump is exploring ways to replace the Social Security number with a safer system based on modern technology in the wake of the Equifax Inc. hack, the White House cybersecurity czar said Tuesday” Yuka Hayashi reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“Rob Joyce, the White House’s cybersecurity coordinator, said one possibility is using cryptographic keys, or a combination of long random numbers, to unlock personal data. The merit of such numbers is that they could be revoked once they are found to be compromised, he said,” Hayashi reports. “‘I feel very strongly that the Social Security number has outlived its usefulness,’ Mr. Joyce said at a cybersecurity conference hosted by the Washington Post.

Apple CEO Tim Cook and U.S. President Donald Trump at tech summit in June 2017

Apple CEO Tim Cook and U.S. President Donald Trump at tech summit in June 2017

‘It’s a flawed system. If you think about it, every time we use the Social Security number, we put it at risk.’ He described the current system as ‘untenable,’ noting that his own Social Security number has been compromised at least four times.”

“‘We’ve got a modern digital age. We’ve got to find a way to use that modern cryptographic identifier to help us drive down that risk,’ Mr. Joyce said, adding he has asked various departments and federal agencies to submit ideas,” Hayashi reports. “The [Equifax] hack exposed the personal data of 145.5 million Americans, including people’s Social Security numbers and dates of birth—data that can’t be changed even if it has been compromised.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s about time! The Social Security number has been an insecure anachronism for decades. Kill it! The secure solution is already at hand, just look at Apple’s Secure Enclave and Apple Pay for the building blocks.

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