So I go to the IRS Page that allows taxpayers to check status of a refund. This is under the number “3” at the following URL–
The following banner pops up prior to setting a browser cookie.
I’m not a lawyer, so I have some questions regarding how to interpret this–
- Should this be read as–
- Use of this system constitutes consent to monitoring, interception, recording, reading, copying or capturing by authorized personnel of all activities. (or)
- Use of this system constitutes consent to monitoring, interception, recording, reading, copying or capturing by authorized personnel of all activities.
- And what does authorized personnel of all activities mean. If I use the system, I have to be authorized, or I’m breaking the law (as identified two sentences later–Unauthorized use is prohibited).
- So based on #2 above (authorized user). When I use that definition of authorized user in #1, the IRS isn’t accepting responsibility if I somehow happened to perform the following on another user’s information – monitoring, interception, recording, reading, copying or capturing. (doesn’t exclude my accountability, but it certainly alleviates the IRS accountability)
- “There is no right to privacy in this system“?
- So I’d hope the IRS can access my information, that is sort of the point of the system.
- But I also hope that data is private (meaning that the information isn’t publicly available), which is not what the banner states.
Okay, I know this is just a rant and it’ll probably flag me for an audit. Honestly, I’m as conservative as possible with my taxes. I just can’t resist being critical of a banner like this. I’m sure this went through some ridiculous amount of scrutiny and was agreed upon by a panel. Maybe it makes legal sense, but it sure doesn’t make sense to me.
BTW–I technically acknowledged this by clicking ok (so I could see it set the cookie). However, I didn’t go through the process of checking my status. I think I’ll just wait until my refund arrives. I hope none of that constitutes Unauthorized Use 😉
Disclaimer: This article includes the independent thoughts, opinions, commentary or technical detail of Paul Stewart. This
may or may does not reflect the position of past, present or future employers.