Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Tech News > IRS database leaks tens of thousands of Social Security Numbers

IRS database leaks tens of thousands of Social Security Numbers
Thread Tools
MacNN Staff
Join Date: Jul 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 8, 2013, 03:16 PM
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has leaked tens of thousands of Social Security Numbers (SSNs). The security failure stems from the government agency failing to adequately redact sensitive details held in a new online database, listing the filings of Section 527 political organizations in what is called a $1.5 trillion non-profit industry.

The database is meant to be a tool for non-profits, congressional staff, citizens, and other parties to look into the funding and actions of non-profit organizations, which represents 10-percent of US wages, with the ultimate goal of improving the efficiency of such markets.

The discovery, made by Public.Resource.Org, was reported to the US Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration on July 2nd, with further documentation passed to senior White House and IRS officials. On the advice of the archive, access to the database by the public was revoked, in order to minimize the damage caused, and to prevent opportunists from gathering the data just for the SSNs.

The security issue is compounded by the fact that the IRS has been shipping the same data on DVDs for some time now, the January release of which PublicResource claims is "improperly vetted." The data was then publicly released in February.

Carl Malamud, archivist for PublicResource, calls the IRS data-handling efforts "unprofessional and amateur." He complains of the IRS policy where staff are not allowed to e-mail other organizations, even in an emergency, and that "The IRS has recklessly violated the privacy of Americans and deliberately tried to keep scrutiny away from our worst charities."

"We hope and expect that the administration will act promptly to address the privacy violations and get the database back online," said Malamud.
Thread Tools
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:00 PM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2015 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2