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    Canadian Press: Rogue tax workers snooped on ex-spouses, family members

    The Canadian Press reports on cases of insider abuse of access privileges at Canada’s tax agency. There have been numerous cases in the United States where insiders have been accused of or found to be abusing theiraccess to data to violate individual privacy. Last year, a New York City police sergeant pleaded guilty “to illegally entering a federal database and giving information from a terrorist watch list to an acquaintance to use in a child-custody case in Canada,” reported the New York Times. For more, you can read what I have written previously about the ease with which insiders are able to access sensitive personal data of celebrities, including stars’ health data.

    The Canadian Press reports:

    Internal reports at the Canada Revenue Agency show that rogue employees are improperly reviewing the private financial affairs of taxpayers without their knowledge.

    And some are using agency computers to give favoured treatment to colleagues, friends, family — and themselves.

    In one egregious breach last October, a woman accessed 37,500 emails and 776 documents containing confidential financial information about ordinary Canadians. She downloaded the files onto 17 compact discs for her personal use, inexplicably helped by agency technicians.

    Documents outlining the forbidden invasions into private tax data were obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act. […]

    All information about disciplinary measures taken against staff who broke the rules is censored in the released documents. But in several cases, the agency appeared to be lenient with long-term employees. […]

    A spokesman for the agency said the number of breaches is relatively small, given that there are more than 40,000 employees.

    One Response to “Canadian Press: Rogue tax workers snooped on ex-spouses, family members”

    1. CRAWhistle Says:

      Unauthorized access to taxpayer accounts is a summary conviction criminal offence under ss. 239(2.2) of the Income Tax Act. However, the federal government has a policy of never laying criminal charges under this provision while regularly prosecuting taxpayers. This is a violation of the rule of law. In addition, while the names of convicted taxpayers are published it is impossible to get the names of CRA employees who have violated the privacy of taxpayers even though these records are deemed to form part of the personal information of the particular taxpayer pursuant to ss. 9(3) of the Privacy Act. Reports of investigations are similarly withheld under the Access to Information Act because the feds consider these investigations to be the personal information of the perpetrators. Of course, ss. 9(3) of the Privacy Act applies for both the Privacy Act and the Access to Information. I’ve been involved in fighting this battle for four years and the degree of corruption in this coverup is beyond belief. It is necessary for more people to get involved before something will be done.

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