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Your Wallet Just Got a Bit Lighter: Ottawa Nixes SIN Cards

Ottawa is phasing out the SIN card in an effort to save money and help prevent identity theft. The low-tech white plastic cards carrying the social insurance numbers of Canadians do not have any of the modern security features that are now common on drivers’ licenses and credit cards. Peter Boyd, Service Canada’s director-general of service identity, authentication and epass, said the change is expected to save $1.5-million a year. While credit card companies can quickly and easily give customers a new credit card number if a card has been stolen, a compromised SIN number can be a much bigger hassle. It is the number that government and employers use to track income, taxes and eligibility for various programs like Employment Insurance. In light of concerns over identity theft, Boyd said Canadians should be living without the cards now. Officials from the Human Resources department also explained several changes in the bill dealing with privacy protection of SIN, EI and CPP files. The budget bill consolidates privacy rules into a single act, which includes more stringent privacy protection.

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