The statement that caught my eye was, "... a spokesman for financial industries like life insurance, banking and credit services said the arcane change was making it more difficult to detect identity thieves who steal names and Social Security numbers from the deceased."
In other words, it is now EASIER than ever to steal Social Security Numbers of deceased individuals and get away with the crime because the very people who need to verify those numbers no longer have access to the list of the numbers that should not be used! Anyone can now find Social Security Numbers by any number of methods, such as a $20 bribe to a funeral home employee or a Social Security Agency clerk, and then use that number with little fear of being caught.
Genealogists and financial businesses are not the only groups affected by this dumb effort. Other organizations also have been affected. A research group that produces reports on organ-transplant survival rates is facing delays because of the extra work it must do to determine whether patients are still alive. The federal agency that runs Medicare uses the data to determine whether some transplant programs have such poor track records that they should be cut off from government financing.
If you were awaiting a critical medical transplant, would this issue be important to you?
Other medical researchers, including those conducting long-term federally financed studies of cancer and cardiovascular treatments, said the changes imposed last November were now slowing their work significantly.
You can read more in the article by Kevin Sack in the New York Times at http://goo.gl/ndgsX.
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