The Army has announced that it will stop putting Social Security numbers on dog tags.
According to the Army Times, some have argued that the change is long overdue—it is the first time dog tags have been updated in the last 40 years. A randomly generated 10-digit number will replace the Social Security numbers.
“This change is not something where soldiers need to run out and get new tags made,” Michael Klemowski, Soldiers Programs branch chief at Army Human Resources Command said, according to the Army Times. “We are focusing first on the personnel who are going to deploy. If a soldier is going to deploy, they are the first ones that need to have the new ID tags.”
The change follows new Defense Department guidelines calling for less use of Social Security numbers, as there have been data breaches that have compromised the personal information of millions of federal employees.
“If you find a pair of lost ID tags, you can pretty much do anything with that person’s identify because you now have their blood type, their religion, you have their Social, and you have their name,” Klemowski said. The changes were first discussed back in 2007.
Protecting Your Social Security Number
It is unfortunate, but we live in an age where identity theft is common. Last year, we wrote a blog post discussing what you should do if you find out that your Social Security number has been compromised.
Remember, there are free applications and websites available that can help you track your credit reports, which can help you monitor potential fraud following a Social Security number breach. Often, scammers apply for credit cards, mortgages and other lines of credit once they find someone else’s personal information.
While our attorneys deal mostly with items like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), we like to keep the public up to date about important information on Social Security news.
If you have questions about SSDI eligibility requirements, you can visit our Social Security FAQ page.