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Information Security Office

Social Security Numbers & UTS 165

In 2006 the University of Texas System issued a System wide policy (BPM-66) for the use of Social Security numbers that enhanced the privacy of the faculty, staff, students and other constituents of The University of Texas at Arlington by modifying business procedures and electronic systems to:

  •     Reduce the use and collection of Social Security numbers
  •     Inform individuals when the university collects Social Security numbers
  •     Reduce the public display of Social Security numbers
  •     Control access to Social Security numbers
  •     Protect Social Security numbers with security safeguards
  •     Establish accountability for protecting the confidentiality of Social Security numbers


BPM-66, which was limited solely to SSN, was replaced by UTS-165, which includes policy related to all sensitive data. Since April 12, 2007, the responsibilities of all UT-System SSN Coordinators were transferred to the Information Security Officers. For all sensitive data-related matters (including SSN) contact ext. 2-5487 or security@uta.edu.

The University of Texas at Arlington is committed to protecting the privacy of its faculty, staff, students, and alumni. In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99), the disclosure of the Social Security number to the University is generally voluntary and will not be used unless permitted by law. Federal and state law, however, requires the collection of the Social Security number for certain services, such as those relating to employment and financial aid.

Under FERPA, faculty members are allowed access to a student's personally identifiable information, such as the Social Security number, as part of the student's educational records. Under university policy and FERPA, the following items must be implemented to protect the confidentiality of Social Security numbers:

  •     Social Security numbers must not be disclosed to any other party without the student’s prior consent.
  •     Social Security numbers should not be made available to individuals or organizations outside of the University unless expressly required by law.
  •     Social Security numbers, or any portion thereof, should never be posted in any manner.
  •     Social Security numbers may not be displayed on documents that can be widely seen by the general public (such as time cards, rosters, and bulletin board postings) unless required by law.
  •     Grades or class rosters with Social Security numbers should be disposed of in a secure manner (for example, shredding).
  •     Social Security numbers should not be used as part of an electronic authentication system (for example, logins, passwords, or PINs).
  •     Teaching assistants should be informed of the confidential nature of Social Security numbers.
  •     Students should be discouraged from voluntarily including their Social Security number on papers, tests, etc. as a means of identification.


Those departments that need access to Social Security numbers should:

  • Question whether Social Security numbers are truly required for a given procedure or practice.
  • Any practice or procedure that utilizes Social Security numbers should be discontinued if possible.
  • Ensure that printed documents containing Social Security numbers are destroyed in a secure manner (e.g., shredder, confidential recycling bins).
  • Ensure that Social Security numbers are not displayed on documents that can be widely seen by the general public (such as time cards, rosters, and bulletin board postings) unless required by law.
  • If requesting Social Security numbers, the individual must be informed as to whether the disclosure is mandetory or voluntary, by what statutory or other authority the number is solicited, and what uses will be made of it. For sample disclosure notices and further information, please see the SSN Disclosure page.
  • Review reports released to third parties. When possible, SSNs should not be included on reports given to third parties.
  • Social Security numbers should not be made available to individuals or organizations outside of the University unless expressly required by law.