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# Tuesday, February 07, 2012
RPAC Announces "Stop ID Theft NOW!" Campaign to Save SSDI
Posted by Diane

As part of its "Stop ID Theft Now!" campaign, today the genealogy Records Preservation and Access Committee (a joint task force of the Federation of Genealogical Societies and the National Genealogical Society) plans to launch a petition drive to help preserve access to the Social Security Death Index (SSDI).

Update: Click here to read and sign the petition. (Note: The page took awhile to load for me.)

Click here to read FAQs about the petition and how to electronically sign it. I recommend reading them, as I encountered some hiccups in the process of creating an account and clicking to sign.

Last week, we blogged about genealogists' exclusion from a hearing of the House Ways & Means Committee Subcommittee on Social Security. Read about SSDI threats including a bill that would eliminate it here.

The RPAC petition will urge measures that should immediately "curtail the filing of fraudulent tax refund claims based upon identity theft from deceased infants and adults."

The SSDI issue came to light after heartwrenching news reports of bereaved parents contending with identity theft when criminals filed tax returns with their deceased children's SSNs.

But eliminating SSDI access won't stop identity theft, say many genealogists. It won't prevent hackers from stealing personal data from government and corporate computer systems, nor will it force the IRS to adopt better practices for preventing and investigating identity theft-related tax fraud, and improving handling of fraud cases.

RPAC encourages family historians and genealogical societies to start by finding out who their representatives are. WhoIsMyRepresentative.com lets you enter your ZIP code to find out.


Genealogy Industry | Public Records
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 10:29:00 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [5]
Thursday, February 09, 2012 5:53:40 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I was never able to sign the petition despite following all the directions. I got on an endless loop. I sent a message, but haven't had a reply - it may be too many people are having the same issue.
I would like to know if there are any other petitions that are easier to sign.
Deb
Thursday, February 09, 2012 11:25:54 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Why don't they just remove the SSN's from the database and leave the other data instead of eliminating it all together?
TJ
Friday, February 10, 2012 8:43:04 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Hi, Deb,
What worked for me was signing out of the site and closing the browser window, deleting my browser history/clearing my cache, and going back to the site and re-signing in (the FAQs talk about this). Also, I've heard using the Google Chrome browser in particular doesn't work. Definitely read those FAQs. I haven't heard about any other petitions, but RPAC has indicated other efforts will be underway. RPAC is encouraging people to write their representatives about the issue.

TJ, SSNs are genealogically valuable for requesting ancestors' SS-5 forms, though removing SSNs and leaving the other data, at least for recent deaths, is one way the parties could compromise. However, legislation currently under consideration would completely eliminate the SSDI.
Diane
Tuesday, March 06, 2012 10:11:22 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
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