Privacy, Data Security

Meta reportedly privy to taxpayers’ sensitive data

Tens of millions of U.S. taxpayers had their "extraordinarily sensitive" information reportedly disclosed by major tax preparation firms TaxAct, H&R Block, and TaxSlayer to Meta over the past two years, according to The Associated Press. Taxpayers' personal and financial data, including income sources, tax deductions, filing status, refund amounts, and more have been shared by the tax firms through Meta's Pixel tracking tool that had been installed on their websites, said a group of Democrat lawmakers including Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Ron Wyden, Sheldon Whitehouse, Richard Blumenthal, Bernie Sanders, and Tammy Duckworth, as well as Rep. Katie Porter in a letter sent to the Internal Revenue Service, the IRS watchdog, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Department of Justice. While Google was also privy to taxpayer data through its proprietary tracking tools, only Meta used the collected data for targeted advertising, according to the lawmakers, who have sought a federal investigation into the matter.

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