The top issues in the private sector include identity theft, credit reporting, employment background checks, medical records and Social Security numbers (SSNs). If you think about it, each of these topics incorporates the issue of SSNs. For example, the crime of identity theft is perpetrated by an imposter, primarily because he or she knows the SSN of the victim and is able to provide it when filling out applications for credit.
The SSN provided as an identifier by individuals answers the question, “Who are you?” As an authenticator, the SSN is provided by individuals in response to a challenge: “Prove who you are.”
Conflating these uses as identifier and authenticator, and failing to distinguish one from the other, can lead to serious problems. We see and experience these problems today in a range of fraud schemes:
- Financial identity theft
- Criminal identity theft
- Medical identity theft
NimbusID’s flagship product MindPrint can serve as the Identity Test for any end-user. When used as both the identifier and authenticator it “Proves who you are.”