The State Of Wisconsin Needs To STOP Printing Social Security Numbers On Mailing Labels

What the hell, Wisconsin?! The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is reporting that for the second time in just over a year, the state of Wisconsin has printed mailing labels that display the social security numbers of the recipient.

Do you really need us to tell you that this is not cool?

About 260,000 participants in Medicaid programs were sent a recent mailing that included the recipients’ Social Security numbers above their names on the address labels, the state Department of Health and Family Services said Tuesday. The number included another digit and no dashes, so the digits might not be immediately recognized by many as a Social Security number, state officials said.

While 485,000 copies were supposed to go out, the mailing was stopped after a recipient caught the error, according to EDS Corp., the vendor responsible for processing the mailings. State officials said they learned of the mistake Monday night.

Jane Marvin, 66, of Sun Prairie said she was shocked to receive mail from the state with her Social Security number printed on it for the second time in a little over a year. Last year, she was one of 171,000 people who had sensitive information about them printed on the outside of tax booklets by the state Department of Revenue.

“I don’t care if you start with (Gov. Jim) Doyle or somebody else, but somebody’s not doing their job,” Marvin said Tuesday. “It shouldn’t have happened, not after the tax thing.”

Stop it, Wisconsin! We’re going to begin to distrust your fine cheese products and will stop drinking this amazing root beer. Ok, not really. But you should still stop putting your citizen’s SSNs on the outside of the envelope. Thanks.

Social Security digital déjà vu [JSOnline] (Thanks, Erik!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. ionerox says:

    If you read the whole article, the mailing was handled by an unnamed vendor, hired by the vendor who handles the state’s medicaid, that screwed up when printing the labels… in this instance the state wasn’t responsible in any way for the f*ck-up.

    While Sprecher is pretty okay, you really need to check out Capital Brewery or New Glarus beers. So much more awesome.

  2. bohemian says:

    Mmmm Sprecher!
    How do you make that big of a stupid mistake twice?

  3. bohemian says:

    Point root beer isn’t bad either.

  4. thegingerman says:

    Sprecher root beer isn’t that good. And their beer is even worse. Oh, and their tour guides are jerks. I recommend Lakefront Brewery instead.

  5. 44 in a Row says:

    Leinenkugel Summer Shandy is great.

  6. sven.kirk says:

    @ionerox: But then we can’t blame the government. You are taking all of our fun away.

  7. theWolf says:

    Mars Cheese Castle but no Brat Stop pics? What’s the deal with that?

  8. DrGirlfriend says:

    Boylan’s Root Beer FTW

  9. Bay State Darren says:

    @ionerox: Sorry to disagree, but the state needs to maintain oversight of it’s outside contractors. “The contractor (who we hired) fucked up, not us!” does not absolve state responsibility. Otherwise, Uncle Sam and all other levels of government could hire Halliburton, Blackwater USA, OCP, or this company for everything and avoid all accountability [well, more than they do now.]

    I say this as a survivor of the Big Dig.

  10. ex_ea_slave says:

    Skip the Mars Cheese Castle and head a few blocks up the frontage road to Bobby Nelson’s. Better cheese and sausage, nicer people, and not nearly as touristy. After stocking up on cheese, head up to the porn/headshop up the road. Finally, enjoy all your new purchases at the Bong Recreation Area. Kenosha really is one stop shopping, lol.

  11. humphrmi says:

    That picture has suddenly given me the urge for smoked string cheese.

  12. brendanm14 says:

    Spotted Cow bitches!


  13. Benny Gesserit says:

    When they figure out how to stop them, can someone let me know? Revenue Canada (Think a more fashionable, Canuck IRS) just finished mailing out millions of 2007 tax packages. The first page contains your name, address, SIN (our SSN) and, as a bonus, the secret 4 digit code that lets us submit and check our taxes online.

    Of course, no one would know what’s in the package because it in a MOSTLY CLEAR PLASTIC ENVELOPE CLEARLY MARKED AS CONTAINING TAX FORMS.

    Arguably, the BEST part of this: If you lose the 4 digit secret code, you have to phone for a new one, which they’ll MAIL to you because it’s too insecure to say it over the freakin’ phone.

  14. t-r0y says:

    Why the hell did the state give the contractor the SSNs in the first place!

  15. humphrmi says:

    @ionerox: @sven.kirk: @Bay State Darren: @Jim (The Canuck One): What the hell does tax envelopes have to do with Wisconsin cheese and beverage bodegas?


  16. kpfeif says:

    We’re from Wisconsin. If it says the state name, we’ll automatically start talking about beer and cheese. Thank God those morons stopped wearing those cheesheads on TV…

    …or did they?

    Meanwhile, yes while some vendor screwed up, it was still THAT STATE OF WISCONSIN’S VENDOR. If my company outsourced some mailing and printed sensitive customer information they’d be hell to pay…and rightfully so.

    Just a little do diligence would be nice considering the incredible taxes we pay in this state.

  17. trujunglist says:

    Dr Girlfriend knows high quality water, cane sugar, and artificial flavoring when she tastes it! Boylan all the way when it comes to the best grape soda in existence!

  18. goller321 says:

    Ha ha ha … I went on a date with a girl that lived in an apartment under the sign posted in this thread… Too funny. God she was annoying… worst date ever! :)

  19. humphrmi says:

    @goller321: So you accepted a date with a girl that lives above Mars Cheese Castle, and you expected it to turn out better?

    Yes, I know, I’m blaming the victim here.

  20. ionerox says:


    What other state has a business that does BOTH Cheese & Taxidermy?!?

  21. endersshadow says:

    Just another reason in my long list of why Wisconsin is dead to me. I’ve since deemed it Minnesota, Jr. All who want to join in my crusade are more than welcome.

  22. timmus says:

    This is kind of a red herring… the real problem here is that our government has provided us with a pathetic array of piss-ant protections against identity theft. The solution here is to throw the executives of banks, DirecTV, ConEd, Verizon, and so forth into pound-me-in-the-ass prison for allowing the use of SSN for anything more than income reporting purposes. Unfortunately this will just continue as long as Senator Slimeball and Representative Scumbag continue to accept campaign contributions from American Bankers Association and so forth.

  23. lockdog says:

    Mmm, Boylans. At first I could only find it at an obscure country grocery store in the middle of nowhere, West Virgnia, but now a few flavors at the local Liquor Barn and Gourmet Grocery!

  24. Artnchicken says:

    My family would stop at Mars Cheese Castle every time we traveled to Wisconsin (my dad’s from there). It wasn’t that great of a place but it was tradition!

  25. forgottenpassword says:

    pfft! Wisconsin’s cheese isnt any good anyway…. if you believe all those cow comercials advocating california cheese/milk. Apparrently… cold cows in wisconsin makes for rotton cheese & milk… so implies the california cows basking in the california sun.

    Kinda Reminds me of the credit card commercial bashing people who pay with cash & checks.

  26. MikeB says:

    @sven.kirk: Actually, you can still blame the government. Why are they letting an outside vendor have access to SSN’s without oversite? I can not think of a reason why an outside vendor would need SSN’s at all (there might be some specific ones but I can not think of any).

  27. Jamie Beckland says:

    @bohemian: As a native Pointer, thanks for representing Stevens Point! However, Point Root Beer is nothing compared to their Amber Bock, which is truly a fine beer.

    I was also very happy with Leinenkugel’s Apple Spice, which is closer to a hard cider in flavor, and very drinkable by even those who do not like beer.

  28. Schlarg says:

    @theWolf: Clearly a man who knows his Kenosha hotspots. The reason there are no Brat Stop pics is because the photographer got sucked into the Cracker Barrel-frontage-road-vortex before s/he could get that extra 100 yards West on Hwy 50 to the Brat Stop.

  29. ancientsociety says:

    @brendanm14: New Glarus FTW!

    Although I have to say Fat Squirrel > Spotted Cow, IMO.

  30. mk says:

    @theWolf: I love the Brat Stop

  31. AD8BC says:

    mmmmm. squeaky cheese!

  32. bunnymen says:

    Mmmm, Sprecher. Have you had their actual beer? Just as delicious!

  33. LadyNo says:

    @thegingerman: My wedding reception was at Lakefront Brewery, it was fantastic!

    And as for accountability, the state print buyer would have received a proof of the mailing format before it went out most likely, so this is still the state’s fault.

  34. Elara says:

    OooOOO the Mars Cheese Castle- the first place I ever had cheese curds. And summer sausage shaped like a Miller Lite Bottle. MMMMMmMmMm. I have to admit, it was the best summer sausage I’ve ever had, and it came with a piece of the best Wisconsin cheddar I’ve ever had, shaped like a beer mug. Such memories!

  35. RISwampyankee says:

    ENDERSSHADOW , I’m with you. Wisconsin is dead to me, too. I lived and worked and drove past the Mars Cheese Castle for more years than I care to admit to. The state’s motto should be changed from “Forward” to “Ooooo nooooo, I could never do dat, der hey!” Lakefront Brewery is great, but it cannot make living in Fargo/Minnesota Jr. bearable.

  36. Buran says:

    @ionerox: Yes, they were. They failed to look at the final product before shipment. This was done in their name. They’re responsible.