Italy and Its Intentional Tax Return Data Breach

Certainly, there's no lack of accidental data breaches. Companies, even countries like the U.K. have accidentally exposed sensitive information about customers or citizens. But to do it deliberately? Whoa.

There has been outrage in Italy after the outgoing government published every Italian's declared earnings and tax contributions on the internet.

The tax authority's website was inundated by people curious to know how much their neighbours, celebrities or sports stars were making.

The Italian treasury suspended the website after a formal complaint from the country's privacy watchdog.

The information was put on the site with no warning for nearly 24 hours.

The release of the information was one of the last acts of the outgoing centre-left government and has shocked many tax-shy Italians, says the BBC's Mark Duff in Milan.

Interestingly, the outgoing Prodi adminstration said it was an example of "democratric transparency."