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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 27 October 2017 > Social Suicide

Social Suicide

Using your Social Security number for identification is a really bad ID

DISRUPTIVE

MIKE KEMP/GETTY

ALBANIANS ARE ISSUED A HACK resistant, digital national ID card called the Letërnjoftimi. It comes with a cool hologram and a biometric chip that can be read wirelessly.

At the bottom of some drawer in my New York City apartment, I have a rotting white cardboard rectangle that shows my nine-digit Social Security number in a typeface that looks like it came from a Smith-Corona typewriter. It’s supposed to serve as my allpurpose identifier for life. So, yeah, when it comes to an ID that serves as a gateway to modern economic activity, the U.S. is 80 years behind a nation where nearly half the population is employed growing olives and figs.

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