Whoops. IRS accidentally uploads tens of thousands of private social security numbers in public database

// July 8th, 2013 // Politics and legal


Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building

PublicResource.org, an organization that specializes in publishing government archive, had to make an embarrassing call to the IRS this week.  Apparently the IRS IT department does not have a filter installed to monitor for errant data uploads which allowed a regularly-refreshed IRS database report of the nonprofit industry to be uploaded with a smattering of unintended data.  The IT mistake allowed the database to be uploaded with tens of thousands of private Social Security Numbers included in the public reports.  The IRS quickly shut off public access to the database, hopefully before wily hackers caught whiff of it.  PublicResource noted that this was not the first time the IRS mistakenly published the database with embedded private data.

This is only one of several exempt organization databases that the IRS has totally bungled. They’ve become addicted to bad Internet hygiene and it is time now for the Service to admit it needs help.

Sources: PublicResource
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