Today, the 60 Plus Association warned America’s seniors about significant data and privacy concerns involving the American Association of Retired Persons’ (AARP) Tax-Aide program. Recent reports have surfaced that AARP Tax-Aide volunteers have quit due to concerns that the AARP Foundation could sell taxpayers’ data to corporate partners or advertisers. The volunteers say that AARP is implementing new policies that could force 2.5 million taxpayers to disclose their private data to the AARP Foundation without any protections.
“There are some very serious red flags regarding the AARP’s tax program, and America’s seniors should be extremely cautious when considering whether or not to participate,” said American Association of Senior Citizens Founder and Chairman James Martin. “Volunteers within the program itself have raised significant data and privacy concerns and seniors should be aware of these issues as they make decisions regarding their tax filings.”
Tax-Aide’s policies allow AARP access to full tax returns, including participants’ addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers and other personal information.
AARP receives corporate royalties totaling almost $1 billion – three times the amount of member dues. AARP’s biggest moneymaker is selling Medigap plans to seniors for UnitedHealth. Royalties from UnitedHealth are estimated to be almost $700 million.
60 Plus says seniors should make sure before engaging with AARP or any other groups that their personal data will not be sold, transferred, or compromised as part of any program.