The Center for Democracy and Technology warns for a proposal in the U.S. president's 2008 budget that will require Internet firms like eBay and Amazon to collect and share personal data with the IRS:
The move is part of an effort by the U.S. Treasury Department to track down unreported small business income generated by the sale of personal property on such sites. Under the proposal, online "brokers" would be required to file income statements for all customers who use their sites to conduct 100 or more separate transactions that generate $5,000 or more per year.
Among the information the brokers would be required to collect would be customers' names, addresses and taxpayer identification numbers or Social Security numbers. The proposal would be effective for sales of property on or after Jan 1, 2008.
"While no lawmaker has yet come out in support of it, the measure could easily find its way into a larger legislative package," the CDT, a Washington-based think-tank, warned in a statement on its Web site.