The Spectacle Blog

Incompetent IRS Accidentally Releases Social Security Numbers

By on 7.8.13 | 4:21PM

Just when you think the IRS couldn't get any more incompetent.

The agency accidentally released over 2,000 Social Security numbers, according to, a non-profit transparency group that posts public records online.

The National Journal:

The incident involves the unwitting exposure of as many as 2,319 Social Security numbers, maybe more, according to a July 1 audit by the independent transparency and public-domain group The identifying numbers were on the Internet for less than 24 hours, but the damage was done. And unfortunately, the data-breach concerns some of the most sensitive types of transactions: Those made by nonprofit political groups known as 527s.

In the grand scheme of things, this probably isn't that big of a deal. The amount of data released was relatively small, was only available for a very short period of time, and was accessed by very few people, according to the audit.

Even so, the fact that this mistake happened in the first place is a bad sign. Is this really an agency we should be trusting with our healthcare data?

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