Tuesday, July 9, 2013

IRS Admits to Accidentally Posting 100K SSNs on Website

Wow!  Talk about your tax dollars at work...
It seems that in a move that reeks of “shouldn't someone have known better?” the IRS recently posted the Social Security numbers of up to 100,000 individuals on a government website.
According to a story on Foxnews.com the numbers were posted to an IRS database for tax-exempt political groups. What individuals Social Security numbers are doing in a database of tax-exempt political groups is as big a mystery to me as it is to you.
Needless to say, with all the concern about data security nowadays you'd think that someone would have figured out that posting that kind of information on a public website would be completely unacceptable.
Data security is everybody's job and this is an example of a situation where someone probably inadvertently entered the information and then someone else with no knowledge of what was in the database posted that info online.
While I don't agree with what happened, I do think that as much is possible we should try to learn from others mistakes. To that end review your own security policies and try to prevent something like this from happening to you. Just as pilots are continually assessing even their best landings, you can learn from even minute mistakes. Don't ever think something like this couldn't happen to you.

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