NZ: Inland Revenue Department has had 32 privacy breaches in the past year.

ONE News in New Zealand reveals a government department has had a series of privacy breaches. Following soon after the breach involving the Ministry of Social Development, reports of inadequate data protection involving the Inland Revenue Department are just what the government doesn’t need.  Even worse, the department is getting a black eye in the press for not informing those affected.  ONE News reports:

ONE News viewers Ross Muir and his wife recently received a nasty shock in the mail – a letter from IRD with confidential tax details in unsealed envelopes – and contacted ONE News worried about their privacy.

Ross said he was “quite upset” by the discovery.

“It’s not the sort of information you would like shown to anybody else,” he said.

On further investigation ONE News reporter Georgina Ball discovered that in the past year, the IRD has breached the privacy of almost 6400 New Zealanders, in 32 separate incidents.

For 638 people the breach was so serious that IRD was forced to put security measures in place to protect them from identity theft.

However, the department failed to tell the 5741 others that they were victims, because it did not consider the breaches serious enough.

Read more on ONE News.  The IRD’s statement is somewhat puzzling, as it refers to them improving their e-mail security. How many of the 32 breaches involved e-mail? How many involved postal mail? Hacks?  A breakdown of the 32 breaches would be helpful.

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