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SXSW Interactive 2015

Bringing smarts to the old social security card

What is a small piece of paper, given to you at birth, dates back to the 1930’s and holds the key to your identity, citizenship and employment eligibility? Answer: your Social Security card.

In the U.S., identity theft is increasing with an estimated nine million cases each year, many of which stem from stealing an individual’s Social Security number (SSN). This is because citizens have continued to rely on the ticket-sized paper card to display their SSN and prove their identity. An updated and modernized Social Security smart card can enhance security, increase efficiency and put the citizen in better control of their number.

This session will cover how smart card technology can be used to modernized the Social Security card, transforming it from a piece of paper to a durable plastic card with a chip that can store citizen SSNs in a highly secure and private manner.

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Related Media


  1. What is a smarter Social Security card?
  2. Why does the U.S. need smart cards to secure identity?
  3. What are the benefits of a Social Security smart card?
  4. How does a Social Security smart card reduce identity theft?
  5. When will the U.S. begin to see Social Security smart cards?


  • Neville Pattinson, marketing, gemalto


Michelle Leech, Marketing, gemalto

Meta Information:

  • Tags: identity
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Solo
  • Track: Policy and Civic Engagement
  • Level: Intermediate
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