The original story that I am writing about us is on the NYT by Kevin Sack, pub. Oct 8, 2012.
I don’t know where to begin with this one. Hiding the information doesn’t make it harder for thieves to take the info, but easier. Why? Let’s do a simple logical analysis here. If the source record is hidden from view so that it’s either impossible or extremely difficult to check for verification or accuracy, it then reduces the ability for detection. The other thing is this: WE PAY FOR IT. The SSDI is a Fed program that is supported 100% by the American Taxpayer. If we want access to the information, then we should have access to the information. The privacy laws only apply to live people. That’s why the census records are withheld for 72 views (so that a potentially live person’s privacy is somehow protected).
How will this affect your research? If you’re like me one of the first things you check is the SSDI to see if a potentially living person has died yet. That’s my starting point anyways. If we’re not forced to get the information from the States, well, we ‘re more or less thrown off the cliff in this one.
“I don’t want to sound offensive,” Mr. Hinkle said. “But our job is to administer the Social Security program, and administering a death list really isn’t in our core set of workloads. The bottom line is that we have to follow the laws and administer the programs we’re supposed to administer.”
Someone needs to tell this guy what his job is. The SSA administrates SSN’s and with it the SSDI is as list of retired SSN’s, but are factors of the SSA — period. That’s like telling me that the Accoutning Dept of AB Company is not important so they can lay off more than half of its people, because ‘accounting is not their core competency’. Mr. Hinkle needs to get a wake up call, and fast! If he continues this charade, he should be removed.
As for Rep. Sam Johnson of TX, his bill needs to die in process. What is thinking by wanting to end access to the file at all?? I don’t agree with Sen. Bill Nelson of FL either! Restricting reports for 3 years isn’t nearly as bad as what Rep. Johnson wants to do.
If they’re going to do away with our access to the SSDI info, then they need to do away with Obituaries in every paper of history. What’s next? Paving over all our cemeteries?
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