The military is horrible about personal information. We use SSNs for everything. Small War’s Journal has a good piece on how bad this is and what must change.
by Gregory Conti, Dominic Larkin, David Raymond, and Edward Sobiesk
Examples of PII Misuse
It is easy to find examples demonstrating the widespread misuse of the Social Security number and other PII by the military. Consider the following obvious examples.
Social Security numbers and dates of birth are exposed to foreign customs officials when traveling on official orders.
Social Security numbers are exposed, all or in part, to contracted transportation companies and truck drivers during military moves.
Virtually every Department of Defense form requires the Social Security number. Privacy Act statements on these forms typically dictate that disclosure is required.
Many organizations create unofficial local forms and databases mandating disclosure of the Social Security number, with or without a Privacy Act statement.
Dependent identification cards put the military sponsor’s full Social Security number in the hands children as young as 10 years old.