[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 235 (Thursday, December 6, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Page 72788]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-29504]



[[Page 72788]]

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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Office of the Secretary

32 CFR Part 157

[DoD-2008-OS-0075; RIN 0790-AI33]


Reduction of Use of Social Security Numbers in the Department of 
Defense

AGENCY: Department of Defense.

ACTION: Notice addressing comments received on the proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Defense (DoD) published a proposed rule 
concerning the reduction of the use of social security numbers (SSN) in 
the Department on March 3, 2010 (75 FR 9548). The Department published 
the proposed rule because it intended to apply the SSN reduction 
policies and procedures to entities that contract with the Department. 
However, it has been determined that the Defense Federal Acquisition 
Regulation Supplement (DFARS) or another contract vehicle is a more 
appropriate way to apply these policies and procedures to these 
entities; therefore, a final rule in title 32 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations will not be published. DoD will publish internal guidance 
in an Instruction that will not contain language regarding contract 
companies since that guidance will be provided as noted above in a 
DFARS rule or other contract vehicle. This notice is being published to 
address the public comments received concerning the proposed rule.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Sam Yousef, 571-372-1939.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Seven sets of comments were received on the 
proposed rule and are addressed below. All comments are available upon 
request.
    One commenter said that leave forms of military members or the 
Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Form 71 (Request for Leave or 
Approved Absence) for civilian employees should not include SSNs in 
whole or in part. As part of the ongoing review to reduce or eliminate 
the use of SSNs, the Department will review the forms to document leave 
usage by military members and will reduce or eliminate the use of SSNs 
on these forms as appropriate. The civilian employee leave form, OPM 
Form 71, was revised in September 2009, and requires the individual's 
Employee Number or only the last four digits of the SSN.
    One commenter expressed concern that the SSN is required in order 
to receive treatment at medical facilities on military installations 
and that the SSN is printed on identification cards. Other commenters 
noted that due to the widespread use of SSNs on military installations, 
individuals are at risk for identity theft. The Department of Defense 
takes the security and protection of its personnel's Personally 
Identifiable Information (PII) very seriously. In order to reduce the 
use of the SSN and to better protect the identity of its members, the 
Department developed and released ``Business Practice Changes to Allow 
the Removal of Social Security Numbers from DoD Identification (ID) 
Cards'' in January 2009 and in November 2012 released an ``Updated Plan 
for the Removal of Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from Department of 
Defense (DoD) Identification (lD) Cards,'' that consisted of a 
comprehensive three-phased plan to reduce or eliminate SSN use on DoD 
ID cards:

--Phase 1 of the updated plan requires removal of SSNs from DoD ID 
Cards and began with removal of the dependent's SSN from Dependent ID 
cards in December 2008. Phase 1 will be complete in December 2012.
--Phase 2 of the plan began replacement of the SSN with the DoD ID 
Number and started in June 2011. Phase 2 will be complete in June 2015.
--Phase 3 of the plan will remove SSNs from ID card barcodes and is 
scheduled to begin in the 4th Quarter of Calendar Year 2012 and will 
take four years to complete.

    A commenter, while also expressing concern with the use of SSNs for 
identification and record keeping purposes, recommended that secure 
methods be used when transmitting information that includes SSNs. The 
Department requires that the Privacy Act be complied with when storing 
or transmitting information that contains PII. Secured communication 
methods are required to be used when transmitting PII.
    Another commenter also expressed concern with the extensive use of 
SSNs by DoD and recommended that an alternative identification number 
be used in lieu of the SSN. Another commenter recommended replacing the 
SSN with the DoD Electronic Data Interchange Personal Identifier (EDI-
PI). Directive Type Memorandum (DTM) 07-015, ``DoD Social Security 
Number (SSN) Reduction Plan'' and DoD Instruction 1000.30, ``Reduction 
of Social Security Number (SSN) Use Within DoD,'' which supersedes DTM 
07-015, require the DoD Forms Management Officer and the DoD Component 
Forms Management Officers to review SSN use and justifications on new 
and existing forms in their respective activities to reduce or 
eliminate the use of SSNs wherever possible. Additionally, these 
policies require the review and justification of SSN use in new and 
existing systems and to eliminate the use of SSNs wherever possible. 
The DoD ID Number, the common name for the EDI-PI, is identified by 
both policies as the primary alternative for the SSN. It is intended to 
support replacement of the SSN in most DoD processes and business 
needs. The DoD ID Number shall only be used for DoD business purposes. 
This may include transactions that include entities outside DoD, so 
long as individuals are acting on behalf of or in support of the 
Department of Defense. The DoD ID Number shall not be used to replace 
the SSN in any case where the SSN is required by law. All individuals 
eligible to receive DoD benefits, such as commissary, exchange, Morale, 
Welfare and Recreation or TRICARE purchased care, will, in addition to 
the DoD ID Number, receive a DoD Benefits Number that will be used to 
facilitate medical care in lieu of the SSN to the greatest extent 
permissible.

    Dated: December 3, 2012.
Aaron Siegel,
Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
[FR Doc. 2012-29504 Filed 12-5-12; 8:45 am]
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