MADISON, Wis. — As if Americans living in the perilous Information Age didn’t have enough to worry about with myriad predators lurking in the online shadows to steal their identities.

Now it appears their government may be helping thieves?

A new report released by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or TIGTA, the Internal Revenue Service’s auditor, finds that some contract employees providing services to the IRS without required background checks had access to taxpayer data.

“TIGTA found that taxpayer data and other (Sensitive But Unclassified) SBU information may be at risk due to a lack of background investigation requirements in five contracts for courier, printing, document recovery and sign language interpreter services,” the auditor said.

In one contract for printing services, the IRS provided the contractor a CD containing 1.4 million taxpayer names, addresses and Social Security Numbers, TIGTA reports. None of the contractor personnel who worked on this contract were subject to a background investigation.

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