Social Insecurity Number

, , , , , | | Legal | June 5, 2018

(I am a new hire at a popular clothing retailer, but I pick everything up rather quickly. The process for looking up a customer’s [Store] credit card is much like every other store that has a credit card — I require the driver’s license, and the customer inputs their own Social Security number. The following occurs when I am looking up a customer’s account because she forgot her card.)

Customer: “You know, someday they’ll find out this is illegal.”

(I stare at her blankly a moment, not knowing who “they” are or, to be honest, what “this” is. I worry she’s about to accuse me of being a criminal.)

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “Someday they’ll find out it’s illegal for you to ask all this information.”

Me: “Well… I never see your SSN, ma’am, nor do I input any of your info. I just—”

Customer: “Well, someday! It’s totally illegal, asking for such personal info. Someone will end up causing you legal trouble, and it’ll all blow up in your face.”

Me: “Well… this is how every credit card account is looked up, you know. Even [Popular Nationwide Grocer/Retailer] does this, not just us—”

Customer: “Oh, I know! But there’ll be a class-action lawsuit someday! You’ll see!”

(The thing that baffles me the most is that to sign up for the card alone, she would need to give me the ID, the SSN, and additionally her phone number, street address, full name, and yearly income. How she didn’t see the irony is beyond me.)

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