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Personal Data 'Leak' from Income Tax Division

Thu, 21 May 2015


An investigation is underway after hundreds of personal email addresses were sent out by mistake by the Isle of Man Government Income Tax Division (ITD).

An email from the ITD was meant to be a circular to residents advertising the Income Tax Department’s new Twitter Account, however all those who received the email were treated to the email addresses of everyone else on the mailing list.

Energy FM has been shown the email which contains the details of over 500 subscribers to the Manx Income Tax Online Service. This comes at a time when the Manx Government are forcing more residents and businesses to file their tax affairs online. This embarassing gaffe will no doubt call in question just how safe your data is when using the online service.

The ITD attempted to ‘recall’ the message but it was too late. They later issued a further email containing the following apology:

"You may have received an email today that regrettably contained the email addresses of other people.

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.

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.

The Division has initiated an internal investigation to see how this occurred and what steps are needed to ensure it doesn't happen again.

Please accept our sincere apologies."

Questions will no doubt be asked about the security of personal and business data within the Isle of Man Government, especially the Income Tax Division. This is an embarrassing error for the Manx Government who regulates heavily industries such as telecommunications and e-gaming, that their own protection of data has suffered such a serious breach.

The body that protects the public against breaches of Data Protection and deals with complaints is the Office of Data Protection. If you have been affected by this or any other potential breach of your rights, you can find out more at http://www.gov.im/odps

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