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Social Security Number

Hello,

I have several questions, and they are all related to Comcast protecting our privacy.  Today I was told by a Comcast billing rep that the last 4 digits of the social security number was REQUIRED to make any changes to service over the phone.  So my questions:

1)  Is it required by law for Comcast to have our social security number?    [Note, I am following the advice from the social security administration:  (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10064.pdf)  "You should ask why your number is needed, how it’ll be used, and what will happen if you refuse. "]

2)  If not, how can I ask that it be deleted from their systems?  I assume I would need to establish a personal pin to verify identity.  Is this not true?

3)  Given all the data breeches that seem to be happening today, what is Comcast's liability if they get hacked and lose control of my personal information?

4)  I have seen some other posts that say there are alternatives, but they are prohibitively difficult to actually use (ie: go to a Comcast store which may or may not be convenient and show id.)  So my question is: am I missing some simple and direct options like establishing a password?

Thanks in advance.  I have not suffered to date by Comcast using my number.  However, I believe there is considerable ongoing risk., ie:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/09/social-security-data-breach_n_7764812.html and https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-19/data-breaches-hit-record-in-2016-as-dnc-wendy-s-co-hacked.  And regardless of how hard Comcast techs work, I doubt Comcast's systems can be any more secure than the US government or any of the other companies that suffered data breeches.

Thanks in advance,

Social Security Number

New Poster

Re: Social Security Number

I would love to see this answered too! As usual I had a very rude Rep. on the phone about this today! 

Frequent Visitor

Re: Social Security Number

ypu guys must be new bc every services ask for ss

Regular Visitor

Re: Social Security Number

Sorry, I made a mistake when typing my reply.  Post edited to reflect Comcast policies.  It is Comcast that choses to put us at risk by using our social security numbers. 

 

An alternatively good outcome would be for Comcast to tell us why we don't have to worry about them EVER having a data breach.

 

FWIW:  I am still disappointed that Comcast has not responded, it makes me think this is a bigger problem than I thought.  For all the challenges I have had with their service, their technical support is more responsive.

 

______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Not true. This is a decision on Comcast's part as not all providers choose to be so careless with their customer's privacy. I also have a Verizon account, and Verizon allows customers to use pins that choose by the customer as well as other security verification choices. Using our social security numbers is a choice by Comcast, and it puts us at great risk.

 

Frankly, I am disappointed that Comcast chose not to respond, as we know they monitor the forums.

Official Employee

Re: Social Security Number

Hi Cape_rider,  apologies for the delay and misinformation but the SSN is used to determine if a deposit is required when initially setting up the account and with a prepaid deposit it is not required.  The SSN is not mandatory. In order to discuss the billing or account information, or to make any changes to the Comcast account, you can provide the last four digits of the previous payment method  or your 13-digit account number.

 

Thank you

New Poster

Re: Social Security Number

Comcast should better train customer support because I finally hung up on a rude rep that would "only accept" my SSN, even though I tried to give her my account number. So some person I dont know will have my address, Phone number, email address AND last 4 of my SSN?!?!?!? I don't think so. By the way I was only calling for technical issues I am a current (Disappointed) customer of 7 years.

Official Employee

Re: Social Security Number

Hi lizinjax,

 

I understand this may be frustrating. When your account was initially set up if the last four of your social was used to set up the account that;s why it is being requested now. But you can also refuse to supply that and provide the first and last name of the account holder, the full account number, phone number linked to the account, and the last payment amount. 

New Poster

Re: Social Security Number

I guess the word hasn't gotten around.

My TV On-Demand service wasn't working (Code 14). After trying online troubleshooting, which didn't help, and online chat that didn't work,

I called the help phone number. The woman I talked to, asked for the last four digits of my social security number, which I gave her.

She said she was sure it was me from the other verification information I gave her, but the social security number didn't match what was on the account. I've been a Comcast member for nineteen years, now Comcast doesn't have my correct social security number.

Since they have the wrong Social Security number, she said she could not set up a technician visit ( company rules or she could be fired).

She then said I would have to take my social security card to one of their stores and prove who I am, to get the service I'm paying for every month!

I'm tempted to bring the cable box to the Comcast Store to prove who I am, and then cancel ALL services.

On the positive side, she also said she couldn't call me back with a sales pitch, until the social security number was corrected.