Social Security Number Privacy

The University of Florida collects and uses Social Security Numbers only as necessary for the performance of the University’s duties and responsibilities, which may include the following possible purposes: classification of accounts, identity management, credit worthiness, billing and payments, data collection, reconciliation, and tracking, benefit processing, tax and scholarship reporting, financial aid processing, accreditation of programs, student health services, research management, and reporting to authorized state and federal government agencies. The Privacy Office maintains a list of university entities that are approved to use, collect, and/or disclose Social Security Numbers and their statutory authority to do so. All other uses of Social Security Numbers require approval from the Privacy Office.

Federal and State laws require us to protect Social Security Numbers from disclosure to unauthorized parties. In addition, the Florida Legislature updated the Sunshine Law, effective October 1, 2009, regarding use, collection, and requests for Social Security Numbers by state agencies. Relevant parts of that statute are in the box below. To read more about collection and use of Social Security Numbers at UF, see the ID Theft Prevention Program.

For UF Faculty and Staff:

The Privacy Office provides training about protection and appropriate uses of Social Security Numbers.

To request permission to use and/or collect Social Security Numbers for purposes that are not already approved, go here.

Social Security Number Matrix

Florida Statute 119.071 [Excerpts]

(5)(a)

1.c. The Legislature intends to monitor the use of social security numbers held by (State) agencies in order to maintain a balanced public policy.

2. a. An agency may not collect an individual’s social security number unless the agency has stated in writing the purpose for its collection and unless it is:

(I) Specifically authorized by law to do so; or

(II) Imperative for the performance of that agency’s duties and responsibilities as prescribed by law.

b. An agency shall identify in writing the specific federal or state law governing the collection, use, or release of social security numbers for each purpose for which the agency collects the social security number…

c. Social security numbers collected by an agency may not be used by that agency for any purpose other than the purpose provided in the written statement.

3. An agency collecting an individual’s social security number shall provide that individual with a copy of the written statement required in subparagraph 2. The written statement also shall state whether collection of the individual’s social security number is authorized or mandatory under federal or state law.

This act shall take effect October 1, 2009.