Social Security Use Policy

Reason for this Policy

Cambridge College is dedicated to ensuring the privacy and proper handling of Social Security Numbers (SSNs) of its students, employees, and individuals associated with the College. The primary purpose of-this Social Security Number policy is to ensure that the necessary procedures and awareness exist so that College employees and students comply with both the letter and the spirit of FERPA and The Massachusetts Data Privacy Act. Historically, SSNs have been used in College systems to uniquely identify students and employees. As our systems are updated we will only display the last four digits of social security numbers. This will be the default action. If your needs are such that you require access to the full SSN you will be required to submit a signed SSN Access form to IT. This form will need to be signed by your immediate Supervisor and the Dean for Enrollment Management.

This policy is guided by the following objectives:

  1. Broad awareness of the confidential nature of the SSN
  2. Reduced reliance upon the SSN for identification purposes
  3. Increased emphasis on secure use, transmission, and storage of the SSN throughout the Cambridge College system
  4. A consistent policy toward and treatment of SSNs throughout the College
  5. Increased confidence by students and employees that SSNs are handled in a confidential manner.

Statement of Policy

It is the intent of Cambridge College to protect the SSN of its students, staff, and faculty to minimize the growing risks of identity theft.
Accordingly, the SSN may not be used as a common identifier or used as a database key in any electronic information system. The SSN may be collected and used when necessary for employment records, financial aid records, and a limited number of other business and governmental transactions, as permitted by law.

Cambridge College will assign a Cambridge College ID and other credentials, like a password or a digital
certificate, to an individual upon initial association with the College for identification and authentication, in order to eliminate the use of the SSN wherever possible.

Cambridge College policy regulates the use of SSN and other personal information across all campuses within the College system.

The policy's major objectives are:

  • The Jenzabar system, and all new systems purchased or developed by Cambridge College will only use the last four digits of student Social Security numbers where such use is specifically permitted or required under this policy. Such systems should not visually display the full SSN on any system output, including monitors and printed forms, unless required by law or required by Cambridge College as needed in execution of its duties.
  • Staff and faculty whose job duties necessitate access to full SSN numbers will be given such access determined by the Dean for Enrollment Management.
  • Each individual associated with Cambridge College will be assigned an ID that is not the same as, or based upon, the individual's SSN or other unique demographic information.

No new system or technology, where the SSN is a consideration, will be developed or purchased by Cambridge College unless it is compliant with this policy or approved by Dean for Enrollment Management as an exception.

Individual Responsible for Revision and Implementation:
Vice President for Finance and Administration and the Director of IT

Date of original implementation: June 14, 2010

Date of Last Revision: April 5, 2024