Previously, I had blogged about H&R Block's use of customers tax data to sell them stuff. I suggested that wasn't such a good idea and may be illegal. Well, it seems like they were just ahead of the curve.
Currently, companies can give your tax return information to affiliates if they bury it in a disclosure that you have to sign. The IRS has decided it just might be a good idea to allow companies to sell your tax return data to unaffiliated companies if they get permission. The IRS says this will empower consumers to use their tax return data how they see fit. I say it's a scam and many people will have no idea that their tax return data is being marketed to the highest bidder.
It also seems to be a bright shiny beacon to identity thieves. Here! Buy people's most sensitive data! You don't even have to fake out ChoicePoint anymore!
Bad, bad, bad idea. I really hope the IRS wises up and quick.