The Revenue explained its decision to pull the site for so long in a statement: ‘Confidentiality of customer information is of paramount importance to us and that is why we withdrew the service pending a thorough investigation. We have now completed that investigation.’
It called the incident ‘regrettable’ and said it was caused by both external and internal factors. In particurlar, the Revenue explained, in certain circumstances ‘session cookies’ allowed one user to be viewable to another user.
The government department also sought to remove any blame from EzGov, the body responsible for producing the SA online form, and said independent experts had endorsed the changes made to the site to ensure that such an incident did not happen again.
The site was closed down at the end of May after confidential details about taxpayers’ records were found to be viewable on the website.
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