HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

The Confidentiality of Tax Data In Google's Servers

A loyal reader suggested yesterday, given HMRC's use of Google's apps and offshore data centres, that people have a look at the Google for Work Security and Compliance Whitepaper.

I have had a wee looksey, and a few things spring to my mind:

1 I note that "if customers delete their data, we commit to deleting it from our systems within 180 days". That means "deleted" tax data may sit within Google's servers for up to 180 days after "deletion".

2 Whilst Google claims not to scan data for placing adverts, "Google indexes customer data to provide beneficial services". To my simple mind, that sounds a bit like scanning data to me.

3 Regarding confidentiality, it seems that Google staff can see HMRC data; "only a small group of Google employees have access to customer data."

4 Tax data appears to be open to access via government requests (with or without HMRC's, or indeed HMG's, permission), "Google may receive direct requests from governments and courts around the world about how a person has used the company’s services".

5 Google may also engage third party suppliers.

It doesn't seem so confidential to me. However, these are just my thoughts, please feel free to add your own.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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1 comment:

  1. Thought it couldn't get worse than Hartnet and sweetheart deals eh?
    Big mistake, UK now thought of as a tax haven for the big players.
    Come in, write your own tax bill, as you as you pay us something that looks reasonable, there you go. HMRC will be having to charge a 'facilitation fee' if this continues.
    As for the laughing gnome, he should stick to telling staff to put sweet wrappers in empty crisp boxes in an attempt to make the staff believe he cares, more credibility on that stage than 10 mins of TV fame.
    How HMG can think they have any credibility in the eyes of the man on the Clapham Omnibus (can we still say that?) beggars belief.