Monday, February 15, 2010

The lighter side of data breaches

Apparently a Swiss bank has been the victim of a data breach. Erik Kirschbaum reports through Reuters that German tax dodgers are running scared after data breach. The report says that which bank it was is unknown, but the German government seeing a huge increase in the number of tax dodgers turning themselves in. There is a good reason it's happening. German tax law says that a tax dodger can avoid prosecution if he turns himself in before the government starts to investigate him.

It seems there are a lot of German tax evaders with money in Swiss banks. But they may not have even noticed if the German government wasn't willing to pay 2.5 million Euros for the data. Which allows great quotes like this:

"There's been a delightful rise in tax compliance," said Daniel Abbou, spokesman for the finance department in the city of Berlin after 74 people volunteered this week to pay back taxes on previously undeclared income.

Great stuff.