New ID System Offers Better Security to Cal Poly Students

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif.—According to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (SLO), the institution will always require Social Security numbers, but new students can feel more at ease while they use newly assigned identification numbers for conducting university business.

The PeopleSoft software system, which will be used by the school, will allow professors, faculty and other staff to communicate with and identify first-time students using identification numbers generated by the program.

The implementation of the new software is expected to be complete within months, and according to the university, after the transition is complete, identity theft is less likely to occur.

Recent cases of stolen laptops have prompted SLO to take a closer look at the privacy policies practiced by its staff. Professors, who are accustomed to using laptops outside of the school, have contributed to the problem. Computers with students’ Social Security numbers and other personal records have, in the past, been stolen from professors’ homes.

As a result of the new program, Social security numbers will no longer be stored on personal or laptop computers and thus no longer exposed to confidentiality threats. Because of federal government, financial aid and other uses, the school must continue to obtain students’ Social Security numbers. University staff will undergo new procedures when dealing with the sensitive material.

SLO officials say they are pleased to join the 23 other CSU schools using more secure methods of information protection. Although the numbers are more secure, students using the same program in other colleges have still reported various forms of identity theft. Despite these continuing problems, SLO administrators believe the new ID system will reduce the amount of identity theft on campus.

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