Prior to 2006, a student's social security number was used as their identification number within the university. Social security numbers were occasionally used when identifying faculty/staff in various accounting transactions. There are still some instances in which documents submitted to Accounting Services for processing show the social security number of the student, faculty, or staff involved. When this occurs, the accountant that is reviewing the document uses a black marker to block out the social security number to prevent it from being viewed by others and to prevent it from being scanned in our electronic record retention system.
For example, University Health Services sometimes submits a journal entry requesting reimbursement for medical services provided to an employee of another department. They attach that employee's medical statement as supporting documentation of the charges on the journal entry. This statement contains the social security number of that employee. The social security number on this supporting documentation is not required and provides no additional value. As such, it is not necessary to risk that this number is viewed by anyone else, and is thus blocked out by black marker.