“Our bad.” IRS exposed thousands of social security numbers

In their latest blunder, the IRS exposed thousands of social security numbers.
IRS Logo

IRS Logo

Another blunder by the Internal Revenue Service.

On accident, the IRS exposed thousands of social security numbers. According to RT, archivist Carl Malamud of Bulk Resource discovered 2,319 social security numbers.

Malamud’s Public.Resource.Org conducted an audit on the IRS in June, after the IRS told Malamud to disregard 3,000 tax returns they sent in January. According to U.S. News and World Report, Malamud’s public-domain group found that 319 of the documents contained thousands of social security numbers that the IRS forgot to remove from the documents.

Malamud supports transparency, and called for it earlier in the year. However Malamud believed that revealing social security numbers was going too far. He said in a statement, “While the public posting of this database serves a vital public purpose…the failure to remove individual Social Security Numbers is an extraordinarily reckless act.”

As a result, the database was taken down. An IRS spokesman told Fox News they removed web access to the “527s” database “out of  an abundance of caution” on Monday. Fox News added that the site was still down Monday evening.

Malamud is very upset about this, and probably the victims are as well. Malamud told RT that four distinct IP addresses viewed the documents a total of eight times, but no privacy complaints were made. According to Politico, Malamud also said, “What pisses me off about the the 527 data is that I had a long conversation with Lois Lerner, her former boss Joseph Grant…and we talked about section 527 privacy issues. And Lerner knew that. She knew the database was dirty and she didn’t care.”

According to the National Journal, the IRS accidentally published social security numbers on both 990-T forms they sent Malamud, and the 527 database. The IRS managed to send Malamud a revised and clean copy of the 990-Ts, but failed to recognize the database error, before receiving a call from Malamud, National Journal reported.

It just keeps getting worse. First, the targeting of political groups, then the discovery of IRS employees misusing their agency credit cards, the people’s tax dollars on extravagant parties, then paying their employees $70 million in bonuses, and now this.  People have lost trust in, and are now sick of the IRS.






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