|Received:||9/5/2007 2:53:21 PM|
|Organization:||Siedow & Associates Investigations|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
|Rule:||Private Sector Use of SSNs|
Comments:As a consumer, and as a licensed private investigator who works on a variety of case types, including identity theft, I am in a unique position to appreciate both the need for privacy and the need for those in the legal professions to have access to SSNs. The SSN was never intended to be a way of identifying or tracking an individual, however it has become such. Our complex modern society makes such an identifier as indispensible as our freeway system, creating order from chaos and facilitating a swift and efficient flow in that society. Whether that is accomplished using the SSN or another means of identification is immaterial; such an identifier is necessary, and for it to function at all certain trusted individuals must have access to it. Just as on the freeways there is risk involved; however that risk is far outweighed by the benefit of achieving order, efficiency and balance. I have not been given access to SSNs lightly. The DOJ and FBI conducted background checks. I had to have 6000 hours of experience and pass a difficult test. My actions continue to be monitored and overseen by my licensing bureau, as well as each and every data provider I use. My use can be audited at any time. In my practice I have helped countless citizens with such issues as identity theft, fraud, elder abuse, collecting child support, locating family members and witnesses, locating assets to satisfy judgments, hiring employees who will be honest and keep the workplace safe, establishing a citizen’s innocence when accused of a crime, and much more. Without my assistance these citizens, individuals, families, business owners, children and the elderly, would be denied due process, lose their homes and businesses, and suffer greatly emotionally and financially. Our citizens’ safety and economy depend on their access to information that people such as I provide. I agree that SSNs should not be used lightly. Neither should access to them by legal professionals be further restricted. Without the work we do the public would suffer greatly, the police would be overburdened, our economy would be negatively impacted, and the justice system would be in a shambles. I trust that you will take all these potential repercussions into consideration and act accordingly.