New Threat to Your Privacy: You


I'd never expect to disagree with a blog post titled "IRS Privacy Nightmare," but The Nation has made it happen. Here's the new IRS rule that's got Peter Rothberg all riled up:

Here's how the new rules would work: when you visit your accountant or a tax-preparation firm like H&R Block, your tax preparer would ask you to sign a form authorizing them to release your information at their discretion. Once you sign that form, your tax preparer has permission to sell or share the information contained in your tax filings.

Cower before America's new Orwellian accounting juggernaut, citizen. Now, people will be able to share your private information, and all they need is your permission. If we don't stop this now, sooner or later it will even be legal for people to broadcast the details of their personal lives on the Internet. But it gets worse:

[N]othing in the IRS rules would prohibit tax preparers from offering incentives in exchange for privacy–say, a ten percent discount on accountant fees and a free clock in return for a signature could sound very appealing.

Bad enough to spread people's information around based on nothing more than consent, but to give them free stuff for it? Is nothing sacred?