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Proposed Treasury Program Burdens Credit Card Companies, Threatens Consumer Privacy

A Treasury Department effort to track unreported small business income would require credit card companies to report the income of all merchants to the IRS, CDT outlined today in a Policy Post document. The new program, which Congress would need to create, is disturbing. For example, the move requires credit companies to turn over information about their merchants without any reason to believe any laws have been broken. Further, the Treasury request is the latest episode in a broader effort by government to force collection and storage of large amounts of customer data. That move would result in the creation of massive, privately maintained databases of personally identifiable information that the government could tap at any time.