Is Your Private Tax Info Protected?
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Even the Pentagon gets hacked!
Do Consumers really KNOW how their loan application data is being handled?
Having worked for IRS, I know it is against the law for any government employee to divulge specific (identifiable) taxpayer information without exceptional effort to get advance approval. There is no legal way for that personally identifiable taxpayer information to get into the public domain without the taxpayers specific written permission for it. Even inside IRS, we were required to protect the identification of the taxpayer in any case related situational discussions where we sought each others advice. We could talk about the case ONLY to the point where it was still impossible for the other party to know who we were talking about.
Anyone want to bet that those disclosures we are all now signing related to proof of our healthcare, or in support of loan applications are being exempted from the non disclosure protections of federal law? Or, perhaps those laws are simply being ignored like the ones protecting professional work product were.
Equifax was recently hacked and if we are to believe the reported numbers, more people than there are adults in this country had information stolen. Major banks have had their entire database of Mastercard holders hacked and data stolen. Even the Pentagon gets hacked!
Daily news media advertisers as well as email spam keep telling us we need to pay for LifeLock services or we are at risk.
On October 24, 2017, Fannie Mae announced the following:
More choice for income, employment, and asset verification = more Day 1 Certainty
Fannie Mae’s open platform for data vendor participation provides choice for customers participating in the Desktop Underwriter® (DU®) validation service. We’ve added new choices for income, employment, and asset verification. DataVerify®, Finicity, and NCS have been approved to provide verification reports.
DataVerify will provide verification of income and employment, Finicity will provide asset verification, and NCS will provide tax transcript reports.
To get started with the DU validation service or to add a vendor, review the Implementation Checklist, complete the activation process with your vendor of choice, and begin requesting vendor verification reports.
So here we have FNMA hiring private vendors to access and handle all our most important private tax data. Transcripts are as protected as the actual returns are. And we are supposed to rely on them to keep it confidential and protected?
So, how about when they use off shore foreign ‘data coordinators’ or off shore servers for cheaper ‘cloud’ storage. Still safe?
Try typing your own name and city into Google and see how much turns up… not always accurate, but more than enough to be problematic when someone wants to steal your ID… or all your assets.
Personally I don’t mind if a former Finance Minister of a deposed Nigerian dictator wants to share fifteen billion (U.S.) with me if I only send them my account information. I can use the extra money with the Holidays coming up.
But I’d like to still have the option of saying no.
The “Leveraged Big Data” advocates will swear that consumers “demand” faster processing time, just like they demand faster appraisals, but I bet they can’t provide 100 names of those same ‘demanding’ consumers that don’t work in the banking or lending industry.
Slow down Banking advisors! Just because a thing CAN be done more easily on a computer, & faster, does not mean that it should be. Don’t you recall the days before taxpayer insured or guaranteed loans when you used to at least pretend to be cautious, responsible stewards?
Let’s put the rational and orderly market aspect back in our definition of FMV.
Not for myself mind you. I’ll be cruising the world’s oceans on my new yacht… just as soon as that Nigerian dictators deposit posts.