Report: ‘Human Coding Error’ Caused IRS Posting of Confidential Data 

Names, contact information and some financial information of about 120,000 people was reportedly posted in error by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on its website.

This confidential taxpayer information had been submitted on Form 990-T, which covers people with individual retirement accounts (IRAs) who earn certain type of business income, and was posted to the agency’s site due to a human coding error, according to a Friday (Sept. 2) report by The Wall Street Journal.

After discovering the error, the IRS removed the information from its site, according to the report, which cited a letter sent Friday from a representative of the Department of the Treasury to the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

“The IRS is continuing to review this situation,” Treasury Department Acting Assistant Secretary for Management Anna Canfield Roth wrote in the letter. “The Treasury Department has instructed the IRS to conduct a prompt review of its practices to ensure necessary protections are in place to prevent unauthorized data disclosures.”

As PYMNTS reported in October 2021, data breaches are a major concern for any organization that deals with a wide range of customers, as these incidents spill both corporate and consumer information into cyberspace.

Read more: Deep Dive: How Organizations Can Fight Back Against the Ravages of Phishing

For example, almost one in five companies suffered data breaches in 2020 due to phishing attacks.

In August, PYMNTS reported that data breaches in the healthcare space are at historic levels — with a study in HIPAA Journal finding that 692 large healthcare data breaches were reported and 42.4 million individuals’ records were exposed between July 2021 and July 2022.

See also: The Alarming Financial and Reputational Costs of Healthcare Data Breaches Keep Rising

“For a healthcare data breach or any sort of misappropriation of patient-member data, you want to make sure you’re keeping things safe, keeping things secure and making sure all the associated people know what to do,” Experian Health Vice President, Adjacent Markets and Consumer Engagement Chris Wild told PYMNTS. “In today’s world, that’s not just IT.”