Because we all are, or should be, in the throes of the dreaded tax season the concept of any article dealing with the subject of taxes seems quite apropos, don’t you think? The idea of the IRS using Facebook to locate and investigate criminals seems intriguing and made me think, “Oh my goodness what will be next?”
How about we get to the heart of the matter? It goes without saying, you would be better off not cheating on your taxes because just in case you are — the IRS is utilizing Facebook to discover and nab tax dodgers. You’re probably aware of federal agents monitoring social media for suspicious and/or criminal activity, however I bet you didn’t know the same agents are also on the lookout for tax cheats.
This is all well within the realm of possibility. Keep in mind that government and law enforcement agencies have employed social media channels to investigate suspected gang-related activities. These same agencies also establish timelines in suspected criminal cases, and gather evidence for divorce cases. Isn’t it a logical leap to add on monitoring social media activity to nab citizens for tax fraud?
With the continued collection of data by social media sites, Facebook for example, more and more personal details are being collected and data-mined. Advertising and marketing companies use the data to determine the best strategy to target desired consumer groups. Government and law enforcement agencies have access to the same data, and this same data can be used to assist agencies with investigations.
If the IRS or other agencies have probable cause to attain a court order to search through a person’s information, that’s one thing, however an entirely different situation to simply hand the data over to agencies because a consumer failed to check the privacy settings. Check this out, almost 14 million Facebook users reported that they weren’t aware of, never established, or didn’t know the procedure on how to set the privacy settings.
Be a smart consumer; know your online responsibilities and rights. Remember that no one is better able at looking out for you than you. And of course, if citizens aren’t doing anything wrong or illegal then those same citizens have nothing to worry about, right?Tweet