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Here to add another layer of dread ahead of the upcoming tax season,
The Markup reported
that some of the biggest online e-filing services—unbeknownst to millions of users—have been sharing sensitive user financial information with Meta. Some services linked user names and email addresses with detailed information like income, refund amounts, filing status, and even the amount of dependents’ college scholarships.
These services include H&R Block, TaxAct, and TaxSlayer, which transmit data via a tool that Meta provides for businesses called the
. The Markup
published the data
sent to Meta by these companies, which it confirmed was sometimes generated and shared “regardless of whether the person using the tax filing service has an account on Facebook” or other Meta service.
Meta provides the Meta Pixel as a code that businesses can customize and embed on their websites to gather information to help businesses improve targeted marketing campaigns on Meta platforms. In return for this service, Meta gets to use the shared data to drive its own algorithms in its mission to know just about everything that can be known about its own users.