Social Security Numbers Revealed Online In Public Documents

Over and over again, consumers are told to protect their social security number. It gets to the point where you feel like if you get your identity stolen, it’s your fault. But how well can you do if the companies you’re forced to hand over your private information to as a contingency for doing business with have lax security?

Recently, efforts by security watchdogs to remove public documents showing SS numbers from the internet have met with success, especially after one privacy gadfly (pictured, left, arguing with a landlord who posts his tenants’ SS numbers online) enlisted the help of an unlikely collaborator: farm bureaus. — BEN POPKEN

Think Your Social Security Number Is Secure? Think Again [NYT]