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Information Security Office

U-Secure

Social Security Numbers & UTS 165

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.

The University of Texas at Arlington is working to minimize the use of Social Security numbers within its academic and business processes. 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. However, 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.