A US person recently tried to access me at an address known only to the SSA and IRS. Looks like they hacked the IRS.
It’s not exactly hacking:
IRS employees ignored security rules and turned over sensitive computer information to a caller posing as a technical support person, according to a government study.
Sixty-one of the 102 people who got the test calls, including managers and a contractor, complied with a request that the employee provide his or her user name and temporarily change his or her password to one the caller suggested, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, an office that does oversight of Internal Revenue Service.
The caller asked for assistance to correct a computer problem.
The report said that by failing to question the identity of the caller the employees were putting the IRS at risk of providing unauthorized people access to taxpayer data that could be used for identity theft and other fraudulent schemes.
Fortunately, I’d supplied the IRS and SSA with poste restante addresses.
Brits visiting the US should provide similarly sanitized data to their airlines and avoid using credit cards to buy tickets – it all gets passed to the TSA which holds it for 20 years, and there’s no reason to expect it’ll be any better at protecting your data than the IRS.