Further government privacy breaches involving thousands of people have been revealed, with the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) the latest to be outed as spilling confidential information.
Following the highly publicised Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) privacy breaches and the lack of security around Work and Income public kiosks, the department has admitted that it breached the privacy of 6379 people in 32 separate incidents in the past year, One News reports.
It said 638 breaches were serious enough for officials to put security measures in place to prevent identity theft, but 5741 were not considered serious enough for the people involved to be informed.
The broadcaster cited the case of Ross Muir, who received a letter from the department containing someone else's tax details.
"It's not the sort of information you would like shown to anybody else," he said.
Revenue Minister Peter Dunne said any breach was a concern and the department had to tighten up its security.
The department said in a statement it was improving security but the thousands of breaches were a small proportion of the many million transactions it conducted.
Labour's revenue spokesman David Clark said the breaches showed there were serious problems at the department.
"For one department to have 32 breaches in a year involving 6300 people is outrageous," he said.
"Something terribly wrong is going on at IRD. Peter Dunne is taking his eye off the ball."
Including the breaches at ACC and Work and Income, there are almost 16,000 people who have had their private details released to other people.
"This government doesn't take our privacy seriously," Dr Clark said.
He said the department's FIRST computer system was 20 years old and not up to the job.
"The systems are falling over and New Zealanders are being seriously affected. We can't wait '10 years or so', the IRD must be upgraded as a priority."