Isle of Man taxpayers’ info leaked due to email error
Email addresses of approximately 5000 customers of the Income Tax Division (ITD) of the Isle of Man – a self-governing British Crown dependency and a tax haven for the rich – have been leaked via email.
“The mistake happened when, as part of a programme to raise awareness of its new Twitter account, the Income Tax Division sent out ten batches of e-mails, of up to 500 in each batch, but in such a manner that recipients could see all the e-mail addresses in their individual batch,” the ITD explained.
The division says this leak was the result of an “operational error,” and pointed out that no personal income tax information has been disclosed.
They tried to “recall” the emails in question, but it was impossible. Instead, they offered their apologies to all those who received the emails and those whose email address has been leaked.
“The Income Tax Division regards your information as sensitive and confidential, and apologises unreservedly for this unacceptable lapse, which was a genuine mistake by a member of staff,” they said in a message to the taxpayers.
“We can confirm that this mistake is in no way related to any of Government’s core online systems and that no information was released other than the email addresses,” they assured, and added that they have initiated an internal investigation to see how the incident occurred and what to do so it doesn’t happen again.
We often have no choice but to trust government agencies with our information, but mistakes are (and will occasionally be) made, and that information will end up in the wrong hands. Unfortunately, there is very little we, as individuals, can do about it.