Compliance Management, Privacy

HMRC offers shaky explanation on plans to sell taxpayer data

Those alarmed by news of a UK revenue agency potentially selling taxpayer data, are not likely to be comforted by HM Revenue and Customs' response on the matter.

On Tuesday, an HMRC spokesman told in a statement that “no final decisions” were made by the agency regarding reported plans to share anonymized data with third-party organizations.

Last Friday, The Guardian reported that the personal financial data of millions of taxpayers could be sold to private companies “under laws being drawn up” by the agency. By law, HMRC is currently limited in the information it can share, including non-indentifying data.

In its statement, HMRC further explained that, if shared, the data would need to have “clear public benefits” as well as “robust safeguards in place” – and that it would not charge companies for the data itself, but for the cost of processing and providing groups anonymized data.

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