IRS ‘Mistakenly’ Exposes Thousands of Social Security Numbers
July 8, 2013 - 11:59 am
Barack Obama’s “smarter” government just made life easier for identity thieves, reports the National Journal.
The incident involves the unwitting exposure of as many as 2,319 Social Security numbers, maybe more, according to a July 1 audit by the independent transparency and public-domain group Public.Resource.org. The identifying numbers were on the Internet for less than 24 hours, but the damage was done. And unfortunately, the data-breach concerns some of the most sensitive types of transactions: Those made by nonprofit political groups known as 527s.
Every so often, 527s have to file tax forms to the IRS, which then get added to a database. The database itself is hardly a secret; the IRS has been sending updated records routinely to Public.Resource.org, and it’s a favorite among political reporters. But when the IRS told the group’s founder, Carl Malamud, to disregard the Form 990-Ts included in the agency’s January release, he took a closer look at the files in question.
Of the more than 3,000 tax returns contained in the January update, 319 contained sensitive data the agency should have scrubbed, Malamud wrote in the report he filed to the inspector general’s office.
More at the link.
An audit recently found that the IRS routinely illegally seized Americans’ property. “Mistakenly,” or whatever.