How much is your SSN worth?

In the USA, the Social Security Number (SSN) is often the key to many organisations offering you some sort of service - especially where the service involves you making payments to them over a period of time.

For those who value their privacy and wish not to give out their SSN, this can be a limiting factor in the organisations with which they deal with, however, some are willing to waive that requirement if you pay some sort of fee up front.

The use of an up front fee (or bond) implicitly gives your privacy/SSN a value. How much is it? So far I have two cases to compare:

  • satellite tv - $300
  • mobile/cell phone contract - $500

What is your experience? Have you ever tried to obtain a service without divulging your SSN and been told that will cost you $X? How much would you pay to protect your privacy and not have to divulge your SSN?

Comments:

Businesses can not requires your Social Security Number unless you are involved in a transaction with them that will implicate the IRS - such as your employer, or applying for University Financial Aid. See: http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs10a-SSNFAQ.htm http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs10-ssn.htm You have to push hard sometimes to get it through people's heads, but I've never paid a single thing.

Posted by Phil on April 18, 2007 at 03:55 PM PDT #

The "up front fee" is obviously what they would have made by selling your personal details with cross matching ability! ;)

Posted by Greg on January 03, 2008 at 02:24 PM PST #

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