Thursday, 21 June 2012

A taxing post

When is security insecure?

Having contacted the tax office to enquire about something, I was greeted by the obligatory security questions. Now this is my first time at contacting the tax office for over three years, so I am somewhat shocked that they have developed security questions to keep me from my data.

As the security questions proceeded I was asked for an address I used to live at, now, I am not sure about you, but I tend to forget where I use to live, as I am now living somewhere different. So being asked to recall an address I lived at some years ago including postcode is not a security question it is a memory test.

I of course failed.

So the twenty minute wait, that I had to endure to get to speak to someone from the tax office is now compounded by the fact I cannot actually talk to anyone without knowing all my previous addresses off by heart.

I understand the need for security, but we are rapidly becoming a society in which we are locked out from our own data due to crass security measures that are imposed upon us in "our interest". Nobody consulted me on the questions they were going to store, so I do not know to this day whether the information they hold is correct, if it is not, then I might never be able to access my own data.

So this again begs the question, if someone steels your identity, and accesses your tax office office records, how does one stop them changing all your details so that you are locked out forever?

I now have to trawl through paperwork to find the address where I use to live, and then will be asked another asinine question to which I do not know the answer and have to make even more calls.

I note that each time I call I have to pay for the call, so I am paying for my failure, or is it there's?