Digital Privacy: “Congressional Report Finds Meta and Tax Prep Companies ‘Recklessly’ Shared Taxpayers’ Data”
From The Markup:
Meta and major tax preparation companies inappropriately shared millions of taxpayers’ financial data for years, according to a congressional report released today that was spurred by a Markup article.
Our investigation, which was published in November, revealed how tax filing services including H&R Block, TaxAct, and TaxSlayer were transmitting data to Facebook’s parent company, Meta, through a tool called the Meta Pixel. The data was sent as taxpayers filed their taxes and included personal information like first and last names, income, filing status, and refund amounts. Some data was also sent to Google through its analytics tools, and Google was also a subject of the congressional investigation.
Today’s report from lawmakers was informed by interviews with representatives of Meta, Google, and major tax prep services. It cited and confirmed The Markup’s report and chided the tax companies for being ”shockingly careless with their treatment of taxpayer data” and the tech firms for acting “with stunning disregard for taxpayer privacy.”
Direct to Full Text Report: Attacks on Tax Privacy: How the Tax Prep Industry Enabled Meta to Harvest Millions of Taxpayers’ Sensitive Data (via Sen. Elizabeth Warren)
54 pages; PDF.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.