The personal financial data of millions of taxpayers could be sold to private firms under laws being drawn up by HM Revenue & Customs.
HMRC has not made clear exactly what bits of data it would share and with whom, but it has a wealth of information about people living in Britain. Its director of risk and intelligence said in 2012: “We have more data than the British Library.”
The newspaper reported that firms could pay to access the data. Plans to relax the laws around HMRC data-sharing – which are being overseen by Treasury minister David Gauke – were first consulted on in July last year, but HMRC said “further consultations” would also be taking place.
Mr Davis said in one interview that to him, it defied logic that those restraints were to be removed at a time when data can be collected by the gigabyte, processed in milliseconds and transported around the world.
A HMRC spokesman said: “HMRC would only share data where this would generate clear public benefits.” It was also mentioned that confidentiality provisions also applied to those accessing data.
Some are wondering: This is a breech of the Data Protection Act, so can we sue?
The answer is that: If you can prove that the HMRC information could be used to identify yourself then yes, you would have a strong case for breech of the DPA. Go for it.
In my opinion, it is not wise to share these data. HMRC is part of the government and we trust in them not to provide any information about ourselves to the third party. If this plan is approved, we might get even more junk mails and emails than now.