Social Insurance Number
The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a key piece of information to open the door to an individual’s personal information. For example, it can be used to steal someone’s identity. Along with other personal information, someone may be able to use a Social Insurance Number to apply for a credit card or open a bank account, and then fraudulently ring up hefty bills and write bad cheques.
Our Office has repeatedly recommended that no private-sector organization request a SIN from a customer, and that no customer provide this number, unless the organization is required by law to request it.
In the tabs below, you will find key and useful information and resources that we have to offer on Social Insurance Number.
What motivates us to reveal or conceal details of our personal lives, and how we protect the private lives of others around us. Insights on Privacy – Christena Nippert-Eng and Alessandro Acquisti
- Custodian of Social Insurance Numbers loses list of them
- Personal data of 191 EI claimants disclosed
- Law School Admission Council Investigation
- SIN not required when signing apartment lease
- Individual alleged that bank request for SIN was unnecessary
- Telecommunications company accused of refusing service unless SIN was provided
- Bank removed customer's SIN from some, but not all, of its records
- Credit reporting agencies acquitted of misusing consumers' social insurance numbers
- Bank obtains meaningful consent to use SINs for credit matching purposes
- Individual objects to request for SIN for purpose of credit inquiry and clause consenting to disclosure of personal information
- Company uses SIN for identification purposes
- Bank uses SINs for credit matching purposes without meaningful consent
- Bank accused of inappropriately demanding SIN to open child's account
- Customer objects to bank using Social Insurance Number to activate credit cards
- Company asks for customer's SIN as a matter of policy
Tips, Tricks and Tools
- Carry only essential ID such as your driver’s licence and health card. Leave your social insurance number (SIN) card, passport and birth certificate in a safe place, such as a locked cabinet at home or a safety deposit box at the bank.
- The best thing you can do is protect your personal information and be cautious whenever anyone asks you for it. Information such as your address, your Social Insurance Number (SIN), birth certificate and your mother’s maiden name can be more valuable to a thief than the money in your wallet.
- If you suspect that someone has been using your SIN to get a job, or that your SIN has been compromised in some other way, contact Service Canada at:
Social Insurance Registration Office
P.O. Box 7000
Bathurst, New Brunswick E2A 4T1
- Be discreet. Don’t provide personal information unless absolutely necessary and by all means, never post sensitive information such as your mother’s maiden name, social insurance or credit card number.