A question for the list in general

Subject: A question for the list in general
From: Keith Hood <bus -dot- write -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:23:42 -0500

Has anyone else seen this?

Lately, I've been seeing something in the behavior of staffing firms that
bugs me. Whenever I respond to a message about a possible job opening, they
ask for a lot of information like current location, availability, etc. And
recently, a lot of them ask for the last 4 digits of my Social Security
number, and my date of birth - month and year. The SSN, of course, is
critical in identifying people in official government records, and under
HIPAA rules, the 4-digit DOB is used for confirming ID in medical records.

As far as I can tell, this just started recently, in the last year. It used
to be that every great once in a while, a recruiter would ask for the last
4 on the SSN, but it was because I was applying at a company where I had
worked before, and the client company wanted it so they could confirm my
identity in their records. I can't remember a recruiter ever asking for my
DOB before last year.

So why are all recruiting agencies now asking me for this data right at the
start as a normal matter of course? What legitimate reason could recruiters
have for asking me to disclose to them the data that is most sought after
by scammers and identity thieves?

I've had some tell me that they need it for distinguishing me in their
records, which I say is a load. If all they want is a key for information
about me in their database, they could just make up a number on their own -
a fact which I have pointed out to more than one recruiter. The fact their
have a field on their record keeping interface is NOT sufficient reason for
me giving up critical secure information. A couple have told me that the
client company they recruit for requires that data. In those cases I've
asked for an explanation from the client company as to why they think they
need that particular data, and I've never received any responses to those

Any thoughts on this?
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