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IRS tracking now expanding into social media

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posted on Apr, 6 2013 @ 01:15 PM
IRS High-Tech Tools to Track Your Digital Footprint

The Internal Revenue Service is collecting a lot more than taxes this year--it's also acquiring a huge volume of personal information on taxpayers' digital activities, from eBay auctions to Facebook posts and, for the first time ever, credit card and e-payment transaction records, as it expands its search for tax cheats to places it's never gone before.

Consumers are already familiar with Internet "cookies" that track their movements and send them targeted ads that follow them to different websites. The IRS has brought in private industry experts to employ similar digital tracking--but with the added advantage of access to Social Security numbers, health records, credit card transactions and many other privileged forms of information that marketers don't see.

officials have said they may use the big data for:
-- Charting and analyzing social media such as Facebook

-- Targeting audits by matching tax filings to social media or electronic payments

-- Tracking individual Internet addresses and emailing patterns

-- Sorting data in 32,000 categories of metadata and 1 million unique "attributes"

-- Machine learning across "neural" networks

-- Statistical and agent-based modeling

-- Relationship analysis based on Social Security numbers and other personal identifiers

Most of us on ATS have already assumed that programs like this were going on. It's scary how all this information can be stored and accessed by just ONE government agency. Just how effective can this 'data mining' from personal health records and Facebook to find tax cheats even be? One thing that is now for certain is that there is NO privacy for any of your digital information.

posted on Apr, 6 2013 @ 02:02 PM
reply to post by SouthernForkway26

Fugg em. Stop using your credit cards.

posted on Apr, 6 2013 @ 02:05 PM
Truly invasive of them to be doing this
Is it really about collecting taxes or is that just a front?

taxpayers should know that whatever people do and say electronically can and will be used against them in IRS enforcement

I wonder if Canada and other countries will follow suit?

posted on Apr, 6 2013 @ 02:08 PM
the easiest answer is to learn IF you are a taxpayer and then organize to abolish the IRS as we know it.

posted on Apr, 6 2013 @ 06:04 PM
reply to post by gladtobehere

I personally have never owned a credit card or a Facebook page. I use prepaid gift cards to make any purchases online. I take the extra steps to keep my electronic footprint low specifically for this reason.

Only a fraction of the processing power (1.5%) is used by the IRS to process all the tax returns. That leaves a lot of capacity to analyze other types of information. I shouldn't have to be worried about how or what I buy because it might raise scruitiny. What concerns me the most is how easy it would be for what should be private intel to flow between the other government agencies.

Did you know that buying indoor growing equipment is probable cause for your home to be raided? SWAT Raids Home Over Hydroponic Equipment Purchase, Finds Tomatoes and Squash in CIA Agent's home.

The IRS estimates that over $950 of revenue per person is lost each year due to tax fraud or errors. Their plan to find the fraudsters is to monitor everybody's facebook and email? I would like for them to cite an example of how they can catch tax frauds using facebook or email patterns without destroying your right to privacy. It would be amazing if they can recover 20% of what they claim is lost every year even with this invasive action.

posted on Apr, 6 2013 @ 06:13 PM
Well.. I'm screwed then. I've not filed taxes for about 9 years now.. Crap, I gotta go, there's a knock at my door. I should heed the advice of the guy that buys VISA gift cards to do his online purchasing.

I figured the bill collectors wanted to do credit card transactions online for my own ease. Maybe online bill pay is just another way to track your habits and obtain information about you.

posted on Apr, 6 2013 @ 06:29 PM
I guess not using Facebook must be difficult, but cookies are easy to remove

posted on Apr, 6 2013 @ 08:16 PM
reply to post by SouthExpected

My life hasn't been difficult at all without facebook. Its like how a non-smoker feels towards cigarettes. My social life has been pretty good the whole time so I don't really feel left out of anything. I had a myspace page that was active for about 1 week until I got suspicious about the security of that site.

I can't find exactly where IRS is sourcing the data, but it doesn't sound like they are using 'cookie' data from web browsers. The only thing I have read is that at least some (probably the majority) of the information comes from 3rd-party sources without any detail to who that is.

posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 04:32 PM
Yeah this sounds about right.

To be honest any data you have stored with Google/Facebook services is already in the hands of the american govt as both of these companies were funded by the CIA vc firm in-Q-tel.

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