In 2008 the Department of Defense directed the services and other DoD agencies to reduce or eliminate the use of the SSN wherever possible. This direction originally came via Directive-Type Memorandum (DTM) 07-015, “DoD Social Security Number (SSN) Reduction Plan,” dated March 28, 2008. The DTM was later canceled and replaced by DoD Instruction 1000.30, “Reduction of Social Security Number (SSN) Use Within DoD,” which is now policy.
The DON implemented the DoD Plan in three phases, as explained below.
Phase 1: Naval message, DON CIO WASHINGTON DC 192101Z JUL 10, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER (SSN) REDUCTION PLAN FOR FORMS PHASE ONE, required the review of all Navy Forms, both official and non-official.
If the form was a non-official form that collected an SSN and the form was determined to be necessary, the form underwent a review process to become an official form. If the form was determined to be not required, the form was eliminated from use.
For all official forms that collect the SSN, continued collection was formally justified. If the collection of the SSN was no longer required, the SSN field was either eliminated from the form or the use of the form itself was discontinued.
All official forms are required to be registered on the Naval Forms Online site: https://navalforms.documentservices.dla.mil/web/public/home.
Phase 2: In 2011 a review of all DON IT systems was conducted. Collection of the SSN was either eliminated, a substitution made for the SSN (e.g., the DoD ID number was used), or the continued collection formally justified.
Phase 3: Naval message, DON CIO WASHINGTON DC 171625Z FEB 12, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER (SSN) REDUCTION PLAN PHASE THREE, consists of three significant actions:
- Authorized the use of the DoD ID number in place of an SSN. Continued use of the SSN in DON business processes must meet acceptable use criteria. If not, the use of an SSN must be eliminated or transition made to the use of the DoD ID number.
- Effective Oct. 1, 2015, all letters, memoranda, spreadsheets, hard copy lists, and electronic lists must meet acceptable use criteria if continuing to collect the SSN. Each process must be reviewed and if continued collection of the SSN is determined to be necessary then formal justification similar to the review process done for DON forms and IT systems is required.
- When changes to a process result in the elimination of the use of the SSN, DON directives and instructions shall be updated to reflect those changes.
Each of the three phases of the DON SSN Reduction Plan is an ongoing process.
The SSN Reduction Program has been successful in eliminating the use of the SSN for marking E1 – E6 uniforms in the Navy; eliminating the use of the SSN in the DoD Drug Testing Program; and eliminating the use of the SSN as a means of identification at the Pentagon Visitor’s Center.
In addition, aggressive SSN reduction programs have made significant progress across the DON in eliminating the collection of the SSN or substituting the DoD ID number for the SSN on forms and in IT systems.
Additional privacy resources and information on the DON SSN Reduction Program can be found on the DON CIO website at http://www.doncio.navy.mil/privacy.
Steve Daughety is the privacy lead for the Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer.