I was reading an internal newsgroup at work, where someone posted a story about how they had gone to see a “Financial Planner” and this person had asked this person for a bunch of personal stuff including their S.I.N. ( Social Insurance Number for those who are not Canadian).
The S.I.N. is the basis of your identity in Canada. Without it, I am not sure if you even exist in the Government’s eyes, so it is a fairly important ID number (I wonder how it is encoded?). If someone gets this number they can become YOU very quickly (and if this happens go here to report it). The Canadian Privacy commissioner actually has a web page dedicated to reasons why you should not give out your SIN . To quote them directly:
Although only certain government departments and programs are authorized to collect and use the SIN, there is no legislation that prohibits organizations asking for it.
They can ASK for it, but you better not give it out, is the rough translation I read into this.
Who will ask for this number? Credit Card companies, finance companies, banks and the government nobody else (at least nobody else should). The Bank is about the only place you should give this out to, and even then, ask WHY they need it. I gave mine to Equifax, so that they could do a credit check on me, but that is the only other folks who get my S.I.N. (at least that is what I hope).
Can they have your Social Insurance Number ?
Your S.I.N. is the basis of your Governmental existence, if someone has it, they are you, and can do whatever they want. Protect this number, do not give it out, do not send it in e-mails, if you have it on a document duplicate the document with that information blotted out, and then SHRED the document (unless it is an official document you must keep the original of). I cannot emphasize this enough, protect your S.I.N. .