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Saturday, April 19, 2014

IRS Uses Private Company to Track Taxpayer License Plates

Bloomberg, IRS Among Agencies Using License Plate-Tracking Vendor:

IRSThe IRS and other U.S. agencies awarded about $415,000 in contracts to a license plate-tracking company before Homeland Security leaders dropped a plan for similar work amid privacy complaints. Federal offices such as the Forest Service and the U.S. Air Force’s Air Combat Command chose Livermore, California-based Vigilant Solutions to provide access to license plate databases or tools used to collect plate information, according to government procurement records compiled by Bloomberg.  ...

“Especially with the IRS, I don’t know why these agencies are getting access to this kind of information,” said Jennifer Lynch, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based privacy-rights group. “These systems treat every single person in an area as if they’re under investigation for a crime -- that is not the way our criminal justice system was set up or the way things work in a democratic society.”

IRS officials awarded the company a $1,188 contract for “access to nationwide data” in June 2012, according to records available online. That contract ended in May 2013, according to federal procurement records.  ...

“The IRS uses a variety of investigative tools similar to other law-enforcement agencies to assist with criminal cases,” Eric Smith, an agency spokesman, said in an e-mail. He declined to say how the IRS used the records in its investigations.

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Comments

Where someone's car has been gives a lot away about someone's lifestyle. And seeing a mismatch between someone's lifestyle and reported income excites the IRS's asset seizure unit.

Posted by: Micha Elyi | Apr 20, 2014 8:52:32 PM