As of July 30. 2016 if you want to access your Social Security account on mySocialSecurity at https://ssa.gov/myaccount you must submit a text enabled cell phone number to them. Their idea is that in order to actually access the account, they will text you a code to enter and also send a text to let you know your account has been accessed online. A little extra security never hurts, right?
Let's just skip over the data breaches at the SSA and their annual screwup posting Social Security info on a list of supposedly dead people who are actually still alive that is accessible to anyone with a "business"--and go right to the real problem...not everyone HAS a text-enabled cellphone. Most of the people who would actually be trying to access their accounts will likely be older generations who aren't always the most tech-savvy to begin with. 41% don't even go online, and 23% don't have a cell phone. It gets even worse once we top the 74+ year old age bracket with less than half using online services or cell phones. Okay, so it appears that those that would benefit the most are the ones being blocked from the site. Interesting.
When will it stop? By that I mean the government's de facto forcing of people to buy something they don't want or really can't afford? What more proof does anyone require that the government is hip deep in the pockets of Big Business?
Now we are required to give even MORE personal information to Big Brother that really isn't necessary. A simple email would suffice, or even an old fashion letter sent by snail-mail would do--or better yet a recorded message sent to your home phone during the time of the access taking place (optional enrollment of course)! Do I really want to give the government more information to store on their ever-so-hackable computers? Not really. Not when they can't even figure out if I'm dead or alive...
Since originally publishing this report, the SSA has sent out an email notifying me of their removal of this requirement specifically for the reasons I outlined above. They are working on other ways to do their two-tier identification requirements.