Sunday, May 13, 2007

IRS Leans On Auction Sites to Spill Customer Information

By Lisa Vaas - eWeek.Com
May 10, 2007
Would you trust eBay to keep your name, address and taxpayer identification number safe? What about, or what about an obscure online broker you've never heard of?

The Center for Democracy and Technology is raising a red flag over the prospect after language appeared in the President Bush's budget that would require brokers of personal property—including online auction houses and consignment stores—to collect personal data from customers and to share it with the Internal Revenue Service.

The push to put personal customer information into the hands of the Feds is coming from the U.S. Treasury Department, which is attempting to track down millions in unreported small business income. There's serious money at stake: The Treasury Department's proposal in the president's budget estimates that it could raise $20 million in 2008, increasing steadily over the years to hit a cumulative $1.974 billion by 2017.
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1 comment:

Faith Chatham said...

This a topic I'd like to hear about from readers. How wise do you think it is to legislate that on-line brokers must collect and retain customer's SSN? Most of my shopping is on-line now, but I suspect that I'd be very hesitant to shop on line if I had to give my SSN. Once a person deals with ID Theft, they are enmeshed in a costly, time-consuming process to regain their assets. Handing over our SSN when we make purchases or sell items on-line would definitely make me stop and think more than twice before using an on-line shopping cart.

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