(KPIX 5) — One of the nation’s largest state agencies says it’s finally removing Social Security numbers from documents mailed every two weeks to millions of Californians, three years after it told KPIX 5 and lawmakers it had already removed the numbers.
However, a spokeswoman for the state Employment Development Department (EDD) says other mailed documents will still have SSNs printed on them and the agency admits it doesn’t know how many people have been compromised so far.
Following our reporting in 2015, the EDD agreed to stop putting millions of Californian’s at risk for identity theft by printing full Social Security numbers on clearly-marked, bi-weekly mailed documents.
Now, KPIX 5 has learned that was just one of the promises the EDD failed to keep. Despite assurances from the agency, it continues to put millions at risk of identity theft and won’t let online enrollees opt out of duplicate mailings with their SSN.
- California Lawmakers Demand Change To EDD Practice Of Putting Social Security Numbers On Documents
- California EDD Stops Printing Full Social Security Numbers On Mailers Following KPIX 5 Reports
- California Agency Still Making ID Theft Easy By Mailing Out Social Security Numbers
We shared our findings with Gov. Jerry Brown’s office, which oversees the EDD; and Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who has the power to take legal action. Both declined to comment, referring us back to the EDD.
EDD Director Patrick Henning has repeatedly declined our request for an interview. However, after three years and over 100 emails, the agency’s head of communications finally agreed to talk.
Deputy Director of Communications Loree Levey acknowledged that there are no immediate plans to stop printing Social Security numbers more than 200 other mailed forms sent to millions of people.
Meanwhile, consumer advocates are calling on Attorney General Becerra and Gov. Brown to take action and force the agency to stop putting Californians at risk.