The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) posted confidential information involving around 120,000 individuals on its website. The IRS admitted to the mistake on Friday.
The site listed nonpublic data for all internet users to search, download, and print. Hopefully, you got to take a peek.
Among the information that sat on the site for the world to see included names, contact information and financial information about income regarding IRA accounts.
No big deal, right?
“The IRS is continuing to review this situation,” Anna Canfield Roth, the Treasury Department’s acting assistant secretary for management, told lawmakers on Friday.
“The Treasury Department has instructed the IRS to conduct a prompt review of its practices to ensure necessary protections are in place to prevent unauthorized data disclosures.”
How did this happen? The IRS thinks a human coding error is to blame. But the Wall Street Journal reports that the IRS continues to lag behind other groups in software.
"The IRS has long struggled with aging information-technology systems and occasional instances of private taxpayer information being released," the WSJ reports.
The revenue service for the United States federal government can't figure out how to install updated software to protect the private information of taxpayers. Isn't that refreshing?
The report notes that the news organization ProPublica published tax data about many of the wealthiest and highest-income Americans last year, likely from another IRS blunder.
On the outside, one could point to this level of repeated incompetence and demand an overhaul. The IRS sees it differently.
Instead of figuring out how to protect American’s private information online, the IRS plans to intrude even more on our lives.
The IRS plans to hire 87,000 new agents so they can audit more Americans and flex their muscles profusely.
So those 120,000 people who saw their financial records go live for the world to see can rest assured their tax money will help fund the $80 billion allocated for the IRS.
It just keeps getting better.
Don't worry, the new army of auditors and their guns will protect us against coding errors that post our tax information to the public.