20 thoughts on “Social Security Cards Explained”

  1. What was the point of this video? And why didn't you notice your mistake? The Social Security card does identify a person. It has their name and social security number on it. Why, exactly, do we need anything else? You keep saying in the video that a national ID card would have security features on it. You suggest the ID number itself could have security features like a check digit, and a photo of the person. You also note in the video that the social security admin. didn't originally want the SS# to be an ID number, but when it eventually became one when the IRS adopted it, as well as other organizations, they dropped their opposition to using it as ID. So, doesn't the fact that the Social Security admin. dropping their opposition to using it as an ID number seem to imply that the Social Security admin decided there wasn't anything really wrong with using it for ID and are cool with it now? You showed us how to easily spoof a social security number, why wouldn't some sort of national ID number not eventually start being spoofed once people figured out the system and started spoofing it? Probably would be spoofed by the end of its first day of issuance. Lots of shady people poking at a problem could figure it out real soon. You keep saying that security is so very important to a national ID number. Yet if you had a card with one on it identifying you, you'd be showing it to anybody and everybody that asked to see it. Like you do with your social security card. You'd show the national ID card at all gov't offices, all banks, anywhere online where you need to set up an account, and on and on. It would never be private. Ever. And the most obvious thing: if everybody needs a national ID number, and everybody knows everybody needs one, then what is the point of it all? Everybody trying to keep that number secret even as they have to give it to anybody who asks. You're just talking about setting up a whole new branch of government to issue ID numbers and then handling all the hoopla about them. Thats more bureaucracy. And at the start of the video you even give a little shade to bureaucracy, implying we've got too much already. And why, exactly would we need a photo ID? Can't the people who want your ID and a picture of you take their own picture of you? Lots of places do already. So, whats the point of your video? Are you suggesting we need a national ID card? Clearly we don't need one. Anybody who wants to do business with you can take their own photo of you and plug in their own data about you. If the gov't wants to track you, the social security card number is just fine. In fact, its a great instance of the gov't choosing to use the data they have, supporting at least two gov't agencies, the social security admin and the IRS. That's pretty damn good. And what would be the outcome if everybody had this uber secure national ID card? Would it cause the credit ratings agencies to work harder to keep your records up to date and correct instead of the who gives a shti attitude they have now? No. Would it help the IRS keep up with you any better then they do now? No. Would it help law enforcement protect you better? No. Would it create an underground black market of selling fake ID cards and/or selling stolen real ones like there currently is for US Passports? Yep. Would it help anybody anywhere enough to implement a very costly national ID card for US citizens. Nope. So, what was the point of your video, exactly?

  2. I don't get it, there can only be 37 million Social Security Numbers for all of California even though 39 million people live at there. Anyone know the workaround (or lack thereof)

  3. Hey, quick question to Americans. You went inside a store to buy liquor and cigarettes. How do you identify yourself and your age to the cashier?

  4. Interestingly enough, big data actually can save you from identity fraud, but that also raises moral implications. Best thing is to get a current passport though, and keep renewing it.

  5. I got my first paycheck today (I'm a 15 year old lifeguard) and I got a social security and Medicare tax and I was like "what the fuck"?? WHY ISNT THIS TAUGHT IN SCHOOL?? THIS IS SO IMPORTANT WTF

  6. 6:28
    "But if creating a contradictory religion doesn't daunt you…"
    Oh, CGP Grey, has it ever been an issue to anyone?

    ( •_•)>⌐■-■

  7. Maybe it's because I'm young, but I find having an ID handy; it's let my by booze since I was 18.

  8. The checksum doesn't make it any harder for fraudsters to generate a valid number.
    The checksum has no security disadvantages, it's made so that it's easier to verify if an id is fake, not to make it harder to generate fakes, it's actually easier to generate values based on the checksum.

  9. how do you buy alcohol in the us? can you use social security cards to 'prove' your age? cause that sounds silly to me (just borrow or steal your older friend's card and you've beaten the system)

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