WPF supports proposed changes to drop SSNs from some appellate forms

The World Privacy Forum commented in support of a proposed change to the federal rules of practice and procedure. The change would eliminate the requirement to include the last four digits of a litigant’s Social Security Number on Appellate Form 4, which is used by petitioners seeking to proceed in forma pauperis. “When we can reduce reliance on Social Security Numbers for authentication, that is a positive step. We support the Judicial Conference’s proposal to modernize some of their appellate forms,” said Pam Dixon, Executive Director. SSNs generally do a poor job of identification and authentication in this kind of context. SSNs are widely available from governmental or commercial sources, and it is not difficult to find or even predict the SSN for any given individual.

You can see WPF’s comments in support here (PDF), and the entire proposal from the Judicial Conference is available here.

Related Resources:

Comments of the WPF (PDF).

Text of Proposed amendments from the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Judicial Conference of the United States.