New concerns: IRS is not protecting Obamacare info from hackers

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Taxes,Obamacare,Treasury,IRS,Cybersecurity,Technology

Two House members on Monday raised new questions about the Internal Revenue Service's ability to protect personal information of Obamacare users from computer hackers.

Citing a Treasury audit questioning the IRS system to fight hackers, Reps. Diane Black, R-Tenn., and Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., said that sensitive taxpayer information could be at risk to theft and abuse.

In a letter to Acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel, Black and Meehan asked the IRS to explain why the agency did not plan to implement all of the fixes recommended by the audit.

“We find IRS’ refusal to adopt a corrective action plan of serious concern as the sensitive personal information of American taxpayers may be at risk. This audit raises important questions as to whether the IRS can successfully protect taxpayer data against fraud and abuse,” they wrote.

Both members have been concerned about hackers getting Obamacare information. They raised questions about the system long before its failed start, focusing first on the “hub” where the federal government and state government partners trade the personal information of Obamacare users, and now on the IRS’ policing role.

Their letter picks up on a worry in the audit report about the cybersecurity of Obamacare tax credit assistance requested by low-income applicants. The audit found that some security systems in Obamacare failed tests even before it was launched.

The IRS said that it has a secure system and already had a procedure in place to deal with the concern raised in the audit.

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.