Joe Everett is a genealogy librarian at FamilySearch, responsible for patron services in international branches of the Family History Library. Joe was previously the head of International Reference at the Family History Library and a technical services librarian, cataloging Slavic and Germanic records. He also spent several years as content manager at Ancestry.com. Joe earned a B.A. in Russian Language and Family History/Genealogy (Germanic emphasis) from Brigham Young University and a Master of Library Science from Emporia State University (Kansas). He has been active in library and genealogical associations and has lectured and published articles Central & East European research.

18 February 2012

Save the Social Security Death Index

Genealogists! Only 3,666 have signed the petition to save the Social Security Death Index (SSDI).  (https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/petition/take-steps-stop-fraudulent-tax-refund-claims-based-upon-identity-theft-recently-deceased-infants/SghL35V4)  Supporting this petition helps prevent fraud and it also helps family history. Privacy advocates are calling for the Social Security Death Master File to be restricted from public use, because it is potentially used by criminals for identify theft. A better solution is for the IRS to start actually using the Social Security Death Master file to filter out fraudulent tax filings. The same Social Security Death file is a very important resource for everyone seeking the family history in the United States. Locking it up would mean that generations of Americans would lose a vital link to their past. Help educate our elected lawmakers on this issue. Everyone agrees that identity theft and fraud must be prevented. The answer is not to lock up public information. The answer is to make proper use of that information. For more information, go to the FGS Records Preservation and Access Committee page http://www.fgs.org/rpac/.

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