Social Security numbers have been the authoritative form of ID for 80 years ... but they're more vulnerable than ever. That's because of massive corporate security breaches.
Richard Smith stepped down at CEO of Equifax after a security breach exposed the personal information of 145 million Americans. During his apology before a Senate committee, he testified about the need for sweeping change.
Exposed data has been the subject of congressional hearings.
Smith testified candidly about Social Security numbers, saying a private-public partnership might be needed to figure out how to keep private information safe.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration wants to know how the existing system can be replaced.
More than 454 million Social Security numbers have been handed out. Experts say any change will probably take a long time ... and thieves may still figure out how to exploit whatever solutions come.