Video On Demand

Modernizing the Social Security Number: A Better Basis for Identity Innovation

October 10, 2018 • 9:00 – 11:00 am EDT

Please join us on Wednesday, October 10, for a discussion on a new CSIS report Modernizing the Social Security Number (SSN), with opening keynote remarks by Congressman Sam Johnson (R-TX). Congressman Johnson is a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means where he serves as the Chairman of the Social Security Subcommittee. The opening remarks will be followed by remarks by Candace Worley, Vice President and Chief Technical Strategist at McAfee, and a panel discussion.

The main identity credential in the U.S. is a paper Social Security Card largely unchanged since the 1930s. The SSN serves as a starting point for confirming identity in the U.S. and is central to the U.S. economy, but it is easily stolen and not designed to work in a digital environment. Modernizing the SSN with a secure process for verifying its use would make it harder to steal and create a foundation for innovation in authentication technology. 

The panel will discuss the challenges in improving identity authentication systems and what initial steps can be taken to improve privacy and security. We will also discuss the issues that have arisen from using the SSN as an authenticator and explore potential models for a modernized identity system.


8:45 am—Light Refreshments 

9:00 am—Opening Keynote Remarks
Congressman Sam Johnson (R - TX), Chairman, Social Security Subcommittee

9:05 am—Keynote Remarks
Candace Worley, Vice President and Chief Technical Strategist, McAfee, LLC

9:20 am—Panel Discussion
Paul Rosenzweig, Senior fellow, R Street Institute
Naomi Lefkovitz, Senior Privacy Policy Advisor, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Candace Worley, Vice President and Chief Technical Strategist, McAfee, LLC

Moderated by
James A. Lewis, Senior Vice President, Center for Strategic and International Studies

This event is made possible by general support to CSIS.

James Andrew Lewis
Senior Vice President; Pritzker Chair; and Director, Strategic Technologies Program