The SSN was created in 1936 to track workers' earnings & eligibility for Social Security (SS) benefits. Since that time, the SSN has been used for many non-SS purposes, & private sector use of the SSN has grown. This has raised concern over how this personal info. is being used & protected, esp. with the growth in electronic record keep. & the explosion of info. over the Internet, combined with a rise in identity theft. This report studied: the extent & nature of Fed., state, & county gov't. agencies' use of SSNs; the actions gov't. agencies take to safeguard SSNs from improper use; the extent & nature of Fed., state, & county governments' use of SSNs when they are in public records (PR); & the options available to safeguard SSNs when they are in PR.Bovbjerg, Barbara D. is the author of 'Social Security Numbers Government Benefits from Ssn Use but Could Provide Better Safeguards' with ISBN 9780756731731 and ISBN 0756731739.