On its website it goes so far as to promise its users ‘convenience and peace of mind’ when they shop as well as a legal service in case where ‘something does go wrong’.
Kim Lavely, deputy director of the Consumers’ Association, admitted that something had gone wrong.
He said the leak was due to a security flaw in the TaxCalc site, forcing the Consumers’ Association to close it down. ‘As soon as we were alerted to the flaw, we removed all personal and financial details from the TaxCalc site.
‘We have already commissioned an independent security expert to conduct a thorough audit of the security of this site,’ he added.
Lavely said the site would remain shut until the ‘problem had been resolved’.
Furthermore, the Consumers’ Association has promised to contact all customers who had bought TaxCalc from this website and ‘inform them that their personal and financial details have been compromised’ and advise them to cancel their credit cards.
The organisation has also admitted it failed to apply to have its own TaxCalc website, included within the Web Trader e-shopping assurance scheme it administers.
The scheme, which has 1,600 member websites, has operated since June 1999. It is designed to show surfers that the website can be trusted, but the organisation somehow failed to bring TaxCalc within the scheme despite conducting sales through it.
– Ian Lynch writes for vnunet.com.
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