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Isle of Man taxpayers’ email addresses accidentally leaked

Fri 22 May 2015

isle-man

More than 5,000 Isle of Man taxpayers’ email addresses have been leaked, following an ‘operational error’ at the British dependency’s Income Tax Division (ITD).

“The mistake happened when, as part of a programme to raise awareness of its new Twitter account, the Income Tax Division sent out ten batches of e-mails, of up to 500 in each batch, but in such a manner that recipients could see all the e-mail addresses in their individual batch,” the division explained in a statement.

It assured that no personal data related to income tax had been revealed in the accidental leak, which took place shortly before 17:00 yesterday afternoon.

The ITD had attempted to “recall” the emails, but it was an impossible task. Instead the department offered its apologies to all those affected in the data leak – both those who received the email and those whose email addresses had been disclosed. Hundreds of the email addresses reportedly belonged to government employees.

In a message to taxpayers, the ITD wrote:

“You will have received an email today that regrettably contained the email addresses of other people.

“The Income Tax Division regards your information as sensitive and confidential, and apologises unreservedly for this unacceptable lapse, which was a genuine mistake by a member of staff.

“We can confirm that this mistake is in no way related to any of Government’s core online systems and that no information was released other than the email addresses.”

The leak has potentially caused concern among those UK citizens who are involved in offshore banking and taking advantage of the Isle’s tax haven label, worried that their details have been made public.

The ITD continued to assure that an internal investigation was being carried out to see how the incident could have occurred and what steps it would take to ensure that the mistake will not happen again.

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