Sam Newman's site, a Consultant at ThoughtWorks

Update: There is a workaround for this problem, which allows you to sign-up for a prepaid account with AT&T which sidesteps the need for a Social Security Number. The Unofficial Apple Weblog has the full details.

I’m working in the US at the moment, and decided to pick up an iPhone. I’m here long enough to justify it (well, justifying a $600 phone is pretty damn hard). No problems in getting one – the SF Apple Store had plenty.

The problem is that as part of the signup for AT&T, I need not only a credit card with US billing address, but also social security number. I have neither. The shop assistant knew I was from the UK but mentioned nothing about this.

So now I had an iPhone that is a very pretty brick. I guess it’ll be going back in the morning…

8 Responses to “No social Security Number? Forget an iPhone”

  1. JH

    I am a US citizen with a SS number. I took my iphone back because of the “gotta have the Social security number” policy. I called ATT and Apple from local level to the executive level. No one seemed to be taking responsibility and instead pointed fingers at each other. Also, ATT did not allow a business or corporation to start the ATT services and instead insisted the phone be “registered” to an individual withing the company using their SS #. Lastly, according to the agreement, the phone service is not transferable enough times for business use. To me, this is a bad deal, and i can easily walk away from it. What happened to the other 500,000 plus people?

  2. Czarina

    If you don’t have an SSN, how are you able to work in the US?

  3. vijit

    guys can i buy an iphone without a ssn??? i live in india an i have no problem in jailbreaking it and stuff… all i wanna knw is can i walk into an apple store with a credit card and buy the phone without giving a social security number….

  4. dhelia e. manuel

    i lost my sss card number and i want to verify it because i need to continue my contribution on social security system and i want to change also my can i do this?i need to find out? please ASAP thanks……….

  5. dhelia e. manuel

    since 2004 if i may not mistaken to remember since that i registered i failed to contribute my sss,coz at that time i registered thru OWWA and have an aplication coming here in dubai but due of circumstance i failed my aplication due of a fake agency but now i need to continue it again but my problem now is i lost it my sss card number,please help me to verify it again……..once more thanks lot………

  6. Al
    How can I protect my Social Security number?
    You should treat your Social Security number as confidential information and avoid giving it out unnecessarily. You should keep your Social Security card in a safe place with your other important papers. Do not carry it with you unless you need to show it to an employer or service provider.

    We do several things to protect your number from misuse. For example, we require and carefully inspect proof of identity from people who apply to replace lost or stolen Social Security cards, or for corrected cards. One reason we do this is to prevent people from fraudulently obtaining Social Security numbers to establish false identities. We maintain the privacy of Social Security records unless:

    The law requires us to disclose information to another government agency; or
    Your information is needed to conduct Social Security or other government health or welfare program business.
    You should be very careful about sharing your number and card to protect against misuse of your number. Giving your number is voluntary even when you are asked for the number directly. If requested, you should ask:

    Why your number is needed;
    How your number will be used;
    What happens if you refuse; and
    What law requires you to give your number.
    The answers to these questions can help you decide if you want to give your Social Security number. The decision is yours

    It isn’t like a credit card #, a debit card #, a bank account #, or a PIN, all of which can be cancelled upon notice, and if desired a new # assigned. If “your” SS# gets out, it is not simple to cancel it. The SSA does not cancel SS#s just by the account holder requesting it. And, they insist upon assigning a new SS# in place of the old.
    Few companies have any serious security protecting SS#s. The SSA claims to, but news items of the compromising of SS# files are frequent.


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