Change in Law Regarding Social Security Numbers
Susan Blair, Chief Privacy Officer
The Florida Legislature has updated the Sunshine Law regarding the use, collection and request for Social Security numbers by state agencies, including the University of Florida.
The updated policy goes into effect Oct. 1.
It requires all UF departments and units using Social Security numbers for any purpose to provide written notification about the collection and use of Social Security numbers.
Many departments and units across the UF campus collect Social Security numbers from patients, students, employees and the public because they are specifically authorized or mandated by law to do so. Some units also use Social Security numbers to comply with necessary business functions.
For example, the Student Health Care Center is authorized to collect Social Security numbers to verify health insurance coverage. In other units, Social Security numbers are required for tax reporting purposes, and some researchers use Social Security numbers so they can pay study participants. To see a list of the UF units authorized to use Social Security numbers, go to: http://privacy.ufl.edu/SSNPrivacy.html. Please contact the Privacy Office if you believe this list contains an error.
To comply with this change in the law, all units collecting or releasing Social Security numbers must:
- Place a link that reads “Social Security Number Privacy” on the unit’s home Web page and hyper link it to http://privacy.ufl.edu/SSNPrivacy.html.
- Direct anyone who requests a written explanation of the collection and use of his or her Social Security number to the Privacy Web site where our policy and a list of authorized or mandated uses can be printed; if an individual has no access to the Internet and requests a copy of the notice, then the business unit must provide a written or printed copy of the notice.
The Privacy Office recommends UF employees who collect, use or discloses Social Security numbers to complete an online training tutorial that can be found on the Privacy Office Web site. To read more about the collection and use of Social Security numbers at UF, visit the UF Privacy Web site at: http://privacy.ufl.edu/SSNPrivacy.html.
Some direct support organizations including the University Athletic Association, the UF Foundation and the UF Research Foundation, are not subject to this requirement.
If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact the Privacy Office at 352-273-5094.