Standards for Social Security Number Use

The use of Social Security Numbers as common identifiers should be discontinued, except where required for employment and a very limited number of other business transactions. This will help ensure the protection of the privacy rights of individual associated with Emory, to help secure Emory's information databases responsibly, and to help ensure Emory is in compliance with Georgia Identity Theft laws.

Unique Identification Number

A unique identification number, assigned to each individual when first associated with Emory should be used rather than the individuals' social security number. This unique identification number should be used for identification and access control purposes. Social Security numbers or other tax identifying numbers are not intended for identification purposes.


Systems purchased or developed should not use Social Security numbers as identifiers unless required by law or business necessity.

The General Counsel's office will review and approve exceptions to this standard, including those systems stating a "business need" for using the individuals' Social Security number.

Each member of the community will be assigned a unique identification number that is not the same as or derived from the individuals social security number.

Systems purchased or developed may use Social Security numbers as data elements only, not as keys to databases.

Systems purchased or developed by Emory may not display Social Security numbers visually, whether on computer monitors, on printed forms, or on other system output, unless required by law or business necessity.

Name and directory systems will be tied to individual's unique identification numbers, not Social Security numbers.

When databases require Social Security numbers, the databases may automatically cross-reference between the Social Security numbers and other information through the use of conversion tables within the systems or other technical mechanisms.

No new system or technology will be developed or purchased by Emory unless it is compatible with these regulations.