Who knew?  All you need to do is check out your friends on Facebook, and you have their Social Security numbers.

Y0u know, the one number you are supposed to guard for life.

From the Chicago Tribune:

For all the concern about identity theft, researchers say there’s a surprisingly easy way for the technology-savvy to figure out the precious nine digits of Americans’ Social Security numbers.

“It’s good that we found it before the bad guys,” Alessandro Acquisti of Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh said of the method for predicting the numbers.

Well, yeah.  Let’s hope you’re the first one on the planet to discover the algorithm.

The Social Security administration is trying to downplay this:

Social Security spokesman Mark Lassiter said the public should not be alarmed by the report “because there is no foolproof method for predicting a person’s Social Security number.”

“The suggestion that Mr. Acquisti has cracked a code for predicting an SSN is a dramatic exaggeration,” Lassiter said via e-mail.

However, he added: “For reasons unrelated to this report, the agency has been developing a system to randomly assign SSNs. This system will be in place next year.”

So, for some reason, the SSI is going to start randomizing the way social security numbers are generated.

What does that do for the rest of us?  And let’s hope that everyone at CMU who has this information is honest.

Got Facebook?

Be careful.