- ‘Son, be careful what you do because the reputation you can build in a lifetime can be lost overnight.’
Klaus Zumwinkel, who has led Deutsche Post for 18 years, Germany’s finance minister Peer Steinbrueck, and Prince Alois of Liechtenstein and his family who own the LGT Group – all these individuals are direcdtly or indirectly involved in this tax-evasion scandal.
How the case is unfolding and why it matters to data security experts is outlined here:
We have addressed how unsatisfactory security regarding personal data at tax authorities and banks is previously, such as:
The German-Liechtenstein case indicates that customer data were stolen during 2002. These were taken illegally not from the LGT itself, the principality’s biggest bank but one of its subsidiaries, LGT Treuhand.
Quite similar to the Britisch case, once again a CD was used to copy data illegally. An employee than removed without authorization from work during 2002. The now former employee was taken to court for this action by LGT Treuhand. The latter won a conviction against the ex-employee in 2003.
Sounds similar, regarding loss of data on a cd, to the UK fiasco, remember?
During summer of 2007, the LGT Treuhand people came across information that data had found its way to German authorities. Unfortunately, Liechtenstein does not have data security breach notification laws (Please click on the link, Login as guest – click on this link again and voila free access).
Hence, Liechtenstein’s Prince Alois and his ‘Laendle’ have failed to bring in legislation that specifies data security breach notification requirements. These would force somebody like LGT Treuhand to inform its customers within 60 days or so after such a data security breach has happened. This means during 2002.
But not even after they became aware that German prosecutors had gotten their hands on customer data in summer of 2007 did they choose to inform their clients. Can one trust such a firm that acts as trustee on behalf of its clients?
Proper regulation would have allowed Klaus Zumwinkel and the other 750 individuals the prosecutors have in their sights that they suspect of holding undeclared trusts in Liechtenstein, to put matters rights. Whatever that meant, reporting themselves to tax authorities (i.e. turning themselves in) or taking advantage of the tax amnesty that might have been offered during the time from 2002 until now.
We condemn tax evasion like everybody else but believe that until proven otherwise the accused are not guilty. Besides, this incident is a another horrible case of data security breach and illustrates again why we need proper regulation in Europe:
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