MORE CORRUPTION:Tax Prep Software Sending Personal Data To Meta, Facebook
Popular tax prep software including TaxAct, TaxSlayer and H&R Block sent sensitive financial information to Facebook parent company Meta
through its widespread code, known as a pixel, that helps developers track user activity on their sites, an investigation by The Markup found.
In a report published with The Verge on Tuesday, the outlet found Meta pixel trackers in the software sent information like names, email addresses, income information and refund amounts to Meta, violating its policies. The Markup also found that TaxAct had transmitted similar financial information to Google via its analytics tool.
As CNBC explained in 2018, Meta uses tiny pixels that publishers and businesses embed on their websites. The dots send a message back to Facebook when you visit. And it allows companies to target ads to people based on sites they previously visited.https://archive.ph/p8o9hhttps://www.cnbc.com/2022/11/22/popular-tax-prep-software-sent-financial-information-to-meta-report.html
The data, sent through widely used code called the Meta Pixel, includes not only information like names and email addresses but often even more detailed information, including data on users’ income, filing status, refund amounts, and dependents’ college scholarship amounts.
The information sent to Facebook can be used by the company to power its advertising algorithms and is gathered regardless of whether the person using the tax filing service has an account on Facebook or other platforms operated by its owner Meta.
Each year, the Internal Revenue Service processes about 150 million individual returns filed electronically, and some of the most widely used e-filing services employ the pixel, The Markup found.
When users sign up to file their taxes with the popular service TaxAct, for example, they’re asked to provide personal information to calculate their returns, including how much money they make and their investments. A pixel on TaxAct’s website then sent some of that data to Facebook, including users’ filing status, their adjusted gross income, and the amount of their refund, according to a review by The Markup. Income was rounded to the nearest thousand and refunds to the nearest hundred. The pixel also sent the names of dependents in an obfuscated — but generally reversible — format.https://archive.ph/b9DLQhttps://www.theverge.com/2022/11/22/23471842/facebook-hr-block-taxact-taxslayer-info-sharing