SECTION:                  Computing, Information, and Data
SUBJECT:                 Use and Management of Social Security Numbers and University

                                    Primary ID (“UPI”) Numbers
EFFECTIVE DATE:   June 29, 2011 Revised
PAGE(S):                    7


      The University of Pittsburgh is committed to maintaining the privacy and confidentiality

      of Social Security numbers (SSNs).  The University is cognizant of the risk the

      improper disclosure of SSNs can have on individuals who have entrusted this

      information to the University, including the risk of identity theft.  Therefore, it is the

      University’s policy that the collection, management and display of SSNs be controlled,

      and that the use of a SSN as an identification number is limited.

      SSNs may only be requested in certain cases, such as when required by law or for

      business purposes with certain third party providers, with appropriate disclosure of

      its use.  On-line and off-line systems that maintain SSN data must have adequate

      security controls implemented to protect its confidentiality and integrity.

      The University Primary ID (“UPI”) number will serve as the primary identification

      number for University students, faculty and staff.  A UPI is assigned to all persons

      affiliated with the University, and is displayed on the University’s Panther Card as

      part of this ID card’s “2P” value.

      Violations of this policy are to be reported to the University’s Privacy Officer.


      This policy sets forth the framework for the University’s collection, management and

      use of Social Security numbers (SSN) and is applicable to all University units.

      This policy will not apply to clinical and patient systems maintained by the University

      that are required to use the SSN for billing and healthcare coordination purposes.

      SSNs are considered an identifier under the Health Insurance Portability and

      Accountability Act (HIPAA).



      1.   Collection of SSNs for University records

            1.1     SSNs may be collected and recorded when needed by federal or state

                      governmental agencies or by outside third parties mandated to collect SSN

                      information (example: health care providers).  Other reasons for collecting

                      SSNs must be within the scope of this policy or approved by the University’s

                      Privacy Officer.

            1.2     University employees authorized to collect SSNs may request a SSN

                      during the execution of their duties if a primary means of identification, such

                      as the UPI number, is not known or available.

            1.3     University employees may not collect SSNs, except for those purposes

                      noted below.  Exceptions will require approval from the University’s Privacy


                      1.3.1  Enrollment: Those wishing to enroll in academic offerings at the

                                University - both credit and non-credit - may be required to provide a

                                SSN for secondary identification purposes. IRS regulations require the

                                University to request a SSN as a Taxpayer ID number for use in tax

                                reporting.  In addition, any student applying for Financial Aid must

                                provide a SSN to the University.

                                If a person enrolling in a University academic offering - credit or non-

                                credit - cannot provide a SSN, certain services, such as transcripts,

                                enrollment verification, tax reporting, and financial aid may not be

                                available to the individual, and the University cannot guarantee a

                                complete academic record for the individual.

                      1.3.2  Immigration Law: A SSN may be collected as necessitated by

                                immigration law or regulations as determined by OHR International

                                Scholars and Faculty Visa Services or the Office of International


                      1.3.3  Certification Exams/Cooperative Experiences/Internships: A

                                SSN is required to be collected and reported for students who are

                                taking certification exams if mandated by the certifying agency. 

                                Employers participating in co-ops and internships may also require

                                the student to provide a SSN.

                      1.3.4  Employment: Any person employed by the University must provide a

                                SSN as the taxpayer ID number as directed by the IRS.  This includes

                                all employees, including part-time and student employees.  Providing

                                the SSN is a condition of employment.  Applicants for employment

                                must also provide a SSN, if requested, for mandatory background


                      1.3.5  Employee Benefits: If required by a benefits provider, the SSNs of

                                dependents may be collected to receive service.  The University may

                                also release an employee's SSN to benefit providers.

                      1.3.6  Payment for Personal or Professional Services: Any person

                                providing services to the University as an independent contractor,

                                invited speaker (honorarium) or research subject for which payment

                                will be made, must provide a SSN as the taxpayer ID number per IRS

                                regulations.  These taxpayer ID numbers will be stored in the

                                accounts payable system as part of the vendor record.

                      1.3.7  Planned Giving Donors: Donors participating in planned giving

                                programs must provide a SSN as the taxpayer ID per IRS regulations.

                      1.3.8  Campus Police: Because the SSN is, and will continue to be, a

                                primary identifier for law enforcement and criminal justice records,

                                Campus Police has access to SSN information in all University

                                systems.  Suspects and defendants will be asked for their SSN

                                because this is used as a personal identifier in criminal justice
                                databases (e.g. FBI NCIC, criminal history records, etc.), on citation

                                forms, on criminal complaints, and in local police databases.

                      1.3.9  Other Entities: The SSN may be released to entities outside the

                                University where required by federal or state law, regulation or

                                procedure, or if the individual grants permission.

            1.4     Collection of an individual's SSN may have additional privacy considerations.

                      These cases must be reviewed with the University’s Privacy Officer and the

                      Office of General Counsel to determine appropriate handling.

      2.   Maintaining the Security and Privacy of SSNs

            2.1     All records containing SSNs, whether on or off-line, will be considered

                      confidential information and should be maintained appropriately to protect

                      the confidentiality and integrity of this information.

            2.2     The University will take reasonable precautions to protect SSNs for all

                      individuals who provide it.

            2.3     A SSN may not be used as a primary identifier in a University system,

                      including indexing systems for imaged documents, unless the University’s

                      Privacy Officer has approved an exception.

            2.4     If and when records including SSNs are no longer needed, disposal of the

                      records must follow University information retention and destruction policies

                      and procedures.

            2.5     SSNs are considered to be confidential data and may not be used for

                      purposes of data mining.

            2.6     SSNs may not be used, in part or in whole, as a user ID or password for

                      accessing a computer system or for generating any type of identifier.

            2.7     If a SSN must be displayed on a computer monitor, a computer printout,

                      a mailing, a fax, or another visible medium, all but the last four digits of the

                      SSN must be masked.

            2.8     SSNs may not be included in e-mails either as direct text or as part of an

                      e-mail attachment.

            2.9     SSN data moved from one computer to another over a network interface

                      must be transferred using encryption controls to protect the integrity and

                      confidentiality of this information.  Examples of encryption controls include

                      cryptorouters and the use of the secure file transfer protocol (“sftp”). Data
                      transfer methods using cleartext (such as ftp) or ASCII files are inherently

                      insecure and should be avoided.

            2.10   SSNs in their entirety or in any portion may not be used nor posted where

                      they can be exposed to the public, including time cards, class rosters,

                      grade rolls, and bulletin board announcements.

            2.11   SSNs may not be used as an identifier for the collection of data for research

                      or academic purposes, unless the University’s Privacy Officer has approved

                      an exception.

            2.12   University units that collect, manage, and disseminate SSNs must undertake

                      annual audits to demonstrate that processes and controls are in place that

                      maintain the integrity and confidentiality of SSN data.

      3.   Security Controls for Computer Systems Maintaining SSNs

            3.1     University units which require the storage of SSNs within their computer

                      systems must have permission from the University's Privacy Officer.

            3.2     Systems storing SSNs must contain security controls that protect the

                      integrity and confidentiality of this information.  Controls must include:

                      3.2.1  Authorization controls that require a user ID and password and that

                                restrict access to information on the system based on an individual’s

                                job responsibilities.

                      3.2.2  Network security controls, in which any system with SSNs must be

                                protected by a network firewall.

                      3.2.3  Audit controls, in which access to a system with SSNs is logged.

                                Failed logon attempts and other information that indicate

                                unauthorized attempts to access SSNs must also be logged.

                      3.2.4  Security monitoring controls, in which viruses, worms, spyware,

                                Trojan horses, computer hackers, and other computer threats can

                                be detected.  These controls can include anti-virus and anti-spyware


                      3.2.5  Physical security controls that restrict access to servers and

                                workstations managing SSN data, and that protect electronic storage

                                media (such as disks, backup tapes, and CD ROMS) that store SSN


            3.3     Files that cross-reference UPI numbers to SSNs are prohibited, unless

                      approved by the University’s Privacy Officer.

      4.   SSNs Within Historic Records

            4.1     SSNs may be a part of historical databases or imaged documents given its

                      past use as the primary identifier at the University.  SSNs may not be used

                      as a primary identifier in a University system, including as an indexing

                      system for imaged documents, unless the University’s Privacy Officer grants
                      permission.  If permission is not granted, the indexes must be changed to

                      use UPI numbers or another key, or the documents must be purged from

                      the system.

            4.2     Access to imaged or other on-line documents containing SSNs must be

                      limited to authorized persons and secured using authorization controls,

                      including passwords.

            4.3     Local departmental databases or spreadsheets containing SSNs, which are

                      available through local servers or PCs, are not permitted.

            4.4     If faculty or others have email or other electronic correspondence that

                      contains a SSN in the text, this will be considered historical information and

                      does not have to be converted, but must be handled as confidentially as

                      possible, and purged if no longer required.

            4.5     Historical records containing SSNs in off-line storage, such as paper, tape,

                      cartridge, fiche, microfilm or magnetic media may be maintained, but access

                      to these off-line records must be limited and secure.

            4.6     All records that are no longer needed must be purged, and disposal of the

                      records must follow University Archives and Records Management policies

                      and procedures.

      5.   SSNs Shared with Third Parties

            5.1     SSNs may not be shared with third parties, with the exceptions of:

                      5.1.1  As required or permitted by law.

                      5.1.2  With the consent of the individual.

                      5.1.3  Where the third party is an agent or contractor for the University and

                                have demonstrated that controls are in place to prevent unauthorized 


                      5.1.4  As approved by the University’s Privacy Officer.

            5.2     SSNs shared with a third party that is an agent or contractor for the

                      University must have a written agreement on controls and procedures that

                      will be enacted and sustained to protect the confidentiality of these SSNs.

                      The University should hold the third party accountable for compliance with

                      the provisions of the written agreement through regular monitoring or

                      auditing.  The agreement should prohibit the third party from disclosing

                      SSNs except as required by law, and require the third party to use adequate

                      administrative, physical and technical safeguards to protect the confidentiality

                      of records or record systems containing SSNs.  The agreement should give
                      the University the right to conduct audits to independently validate that these

                      controls and procedures are in place and properly sustained.


      6.   Use of UPI Numbers

            6.1     The UPI is to be used as the primary identifier in the University’s

                      administrative and academic systems.

            6.2     The UPI is an eleven character value beginning with “2P” and then a nine

                      digit number using the following format: 2PXXXXXXXXX

            6.3     The UPI is unique to an individual and is a lifetime assignment used for

                      multiple and changing relationships with the University.

            6.4     The UPI number is assigned to an individual and is used for all affiliations

                      with the University.

            6.5     The UPI number for an individual will not be available to the general public,

                      such as through the University Directory Service.

            6.6     The UPI number may only be used in email or other correspondence within

                      the University among appropriate University personnel and offices in

                      performing their assigned duties, or in email or other correspondence sent

                      directly to that individual.  The UPI should never be part of the subject line

                      of an email or printed on the address label of written correspondence.

            6.7     Unless the full number is required (i.e. to notify an individual of his or her

                      UPI number), only the last four digits of the UPI should be displayed in the

                      text of an email or any other correspondence.

            6.8     UPI numbers will be assigned to the following groups: students, employees,

                      and other University affiliates.

                      6.8.1  Students: A UPI is issued to anyone enrolling in University academic

                                offerings - including credit and non-credit instruction - that are

                                recorded in the PeopleSoft Student System.  The UPI is the identifier

                                or individuals within University academic systems and will be

                                available to appropriate University officials with a legitimate

                                educational need for the records.  Students will be required to provide

                                the UPI when requested to obtain access to services at the University.

                                NOTE: Under interpretations of Family Educational Rights and Privacy

                                Act of 1974 (FERPA) regulations, the UPI cannot be used to display a

                                student's scores or grades publicly.  This also precludes posting

                                grades using only the last four digits of the UPI.

                      6.8.2  Employees: All University employees, including wage payroll, are

                                issued a UPI at the time of employment.  The UPI will be used to

                                identify the individual within University administrative systems.

                                University retirees will also be assigned UPIs under this affiliation.

                      6.8.3  Other Entities: There are other constituents associated with the

                                University who may be issued a UPI.  These include, but are not

                                limited to, alumni, donors, and "friends of the University".  The

                                University’s Privacy Officer will determine when a UPI may be issued

                                for those falling into the "other entities" category.

            6.9     If an individual does not have a UPI, one will be assigned.  Assigning a UPI

                      will require certain minimum information about the individual.  Those

                      University offices assigning UPI must notify constituents of their new UPI in

                      a timely manner, using consistent methods and wording.

            6.10   Efforts must be made to prevent assignment of multiple UPIs to the same

                      individual.  If multiple UPIs have been issued to a single individual or if two

                      individuals are issued the same UPI, the University unit discovering the

                      duplicate or multiple must contact Panther Central and, after verification of

                      the multiple assignments, the records will be merged or separated and the

                      individual or individuals notified of which UPI will be valid in the future.

            6.11   If an assigned UPI has been compromised and used fraudulently, an

                      individual may request a new UPI number subject to the review and

                      approval of the University’s Privacy Officer.

       7.  Use of UPI Numbers on the University’s Panther Card

            7.1     The UPI may be printed on the Panther Card as part of the card’s 2P

                      value so that individuals have a permanent record of their UPI for reference

                      purposes. Individuals issued Panther Cards will be expected to keep the

                      card secure.  Panther Cards must have a brief disclosure statement on the

                      back of the card regarding the individual's responsibility for keeping their

                      Panther Card secure.

            7.2     If a Panther Card must be replaced, the UPI will remain the same, but a

                      new 2P card number will be issued.

            7.3     2P numbers should consist of the following fields:

                      -         11-digit UPI

                      -         2-digit card type (01 students, 02 faculty and staff, 03 other affiliates)

                      -         1-digit lost card indicator (starting with 0 and incrementing with each

                                new card number)

                      -         1-digit check digit based on a modulus 36 hash function (this check

                                digit is used to validate the first 14 digits).

            7.4     2P numbers are to be generated using the University’s Central Directory

                      Service (CDS) and issued when University affiliates receive their Panther

                      Cards on main campus by Panther Central or when their ID cards are

                      received at one of the University’s regional campuses.


      It shall be the responsibility of each University unit to meet the requirements set forth

      in this policy.  Violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and

      including termination of employment. Violation may also result in civil and criminal

      penalties based on state and federal privacy statutes.


      For additional information about this policy, or to file a report, contact the University’s

      Privacy Officer:

            David N. DeJong, Ph.D.

            Vice Provost for Academic Planning and Resource Management

            801 Cathedral of Learning

            Pittsburgh, PA 15260


            Web site:


            Phone:     (412) 624-4228

      For information about security controls for protecting SSNs, contact the University’s

      Information Security Officer.