Total Proposal Security

The National Science Foundation uses a computerized proposal-and-report submission system called FastLane. When I first submitted a proposal, this required three things to log in: your last name, your Social Security number, and a password of your choice.

Sometime in the last year, they stopped using the SSN, and switched to a randomly generated nine-digit ID number. Which they sent me in a massage that somehow manages not to include the strings “NSF,” “FastLane,” or “National Science Foundation.” “ID” by itself returns too many results in GMail to be useful.

On the bright side, at least I can be confident that nobody else is going to log in and submit the final project report that’s due…