#CyberFLASH: Tax time 2015: How safe is your data with CRA?


Security at the Canada Revenue Agency certainly isn’t perfect.

Last year, someone — allegedly a 19-year-old student at the University of Western Ontario — hacked into its servers by using the much-publicized Heartbleed security flaw and made off with the social insurance numbers of more than 900 taxpayers.

A few months later, the taxman accidentally sent CBC News confidential details about prominent Canadians, including former prime minister Jean Chrétien and author Margaret Atwood, such as their home addresses and the value of certain tax credits they were granted.

And in 2013 a report from the federal privacy commissioner warned of “marked weaknesses” in CRA’s privacy and security habits, finding, among other things, that thousands of taxpayers’ files had been inappropriately accessed by employees for reasons including “personal gain, preferential treatment and fraud.”

All of which raises the question, how secure is the CRA? How concerned should Canadians be that their financial data might end up somewhere else entirely, used for who-knows-what nefarious purposes?

Read more here

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