Canada Revenue Agency privacy breach leaks prominent Canadians’ tax details

Dean Beeby reports:

Detailed tax information about the private lives of hundreds of Canadians — many of them rich and famous — was sent to CBC News by Canada’s tax agency in an apparent major privacy breach.

The highly confidential details, including home addresses of taxpayers and the value of tax credits they were granted, are contained in a copy of a Canada Revenue Agency spreadsheet covering the years 2008 to 2013.

The 18 pages include information on donations made by such Canadian luminaries as author Margaret Atwood, former prime minister Jean Chrétien, grocery magnate Frank Sobey, cartoonist Lynn Johnston, pollster Allan Gregg, financier Stephen Bronfman, former CBC executive Richard Stursberg, Olympics chief Richard Pound and many others.

Read more on CBC News, who, curiously, do not seem to explain how the breach occurred. Was the spreadsheet sent to them in response to a public records request of some kind? If so, what had CBC News requested? Were the data sent via email attachment or CD or ….?


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