Areas Processing Student Data
Because Social Security number (SSN) is a unique identifier, it is often used to connect information about a student that may appear in business processes. Faculty, staff and other students who are handling student paperwork or electronic files must remain vigilant and recognize when PIRN shows up in any of the following processes:
- Admissions - SSN may be part of admissions review packages; if not "redacted" from the package that is sent to the reviewer, the reviewer may want to "redact" the SSN. Check with Admisssion about securely destroying copies of past student applicant files (hard copy and electronic).
- Student Financial Services - Financial aid paper work has SSN as well as personal financial account numbers. DLCs will generally not have such information, but if they do, they have an obligation to protect, "redact," or securely destroy this information.
- Student Employment and I-9s - SSN is required as part of the employment process including RA/ TA payments. See Areas Processing Employment Data for more details
- Merchant Services - Personal credit cards are accepted in different areas. Merchants are required to follow MIT Merchant policy, which includes not keeping credit card numbers on file, so PIRN should not be an issue. See http://web.mit.edu/chargemit/.
- Student payments and expense reimbursements - If students are receiving an award, or being reimbursed for expenses, then SSN may be required, or PIRN may be inadvertently included in the backup. See Areas Processing Financial Data for more details.
- Human Subject Research - If the research protocol calls for $75 or less in subject compensation then SSN should not be collected as part of the process. Where the protocol includes payments greater than $75, SSN is required for submission to Accounts Payable, but should be redacted from any local file copies.
- Local Databases - DLCs should not maintain hard copy or electronic files (e.g. Excel, Filemaker) which include individuals' SSNs, credit card numbers or other PIRN.