The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Union Editorial: The new ID cards do us justice

The Union commends the preventive policy behind the new student IDs being handed out at West Lounge o the Activities Center.

However, the administration should be more careful when they use innovative technology such as a magnetic strip with too much information and in this way avoid replacing student cards.

Unknown to many students, the magnetic strips on the now invalid student identification cards carry crucial information including Social Security numbers, home addresses, telephone numbers and financial information which can be linked to a person’s Social Security number.

The misuse of all or part of this information could lead to identity theft if the card lands in the hands of a friend with a card reader.

Fortunately, administrators are replacing these powerful student ID cards and trading them for cards that do not contain the Social Security number, but rather the student’s ID numbers.

As Michael D’Amico, EC police chief, explained, learning institutions traditionally used students’ Social Security numbers as their student identification numbers. This would allow administrators to pull up a particular student’s information by simply typing these nine digits.

The problem results when students swipe their cards and inadvertently leave their information in systems where other people may easily obtain it and use it to steal information.

With the new IDs, students are able to checkout books from the library and to use the computers at the Learning Resource Center without leaving behind their personal information.

Although no cases of identity theft as a result of EC’s old ID cards have been reported, the administration is now reducing the possibility of identity theft through the new student cards.

This is in the students’ best interests.

Nevertheless, these new cards come with a lesson to teach. The administration should consider all the advantages and the disadvantages more thoroughly before spending needed money on high tech gadgets that in the long run are more disadvantageous than beneficial.

As for students, it should be noted that any form of identification should be guarded closely. Few people know what information the magnetic strips on all plastic cards actually carry.

If you have not replaced your student ID, you should do so immediately, since the older version will become obsolete soon.

For further identity protection, older student identification cards should be shredded as you would a credit card to avoid leaving personal information for somone to find in public computers.

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