Jump to content

Users Tax Info Sent To Facebook


cbslee
 Share

Recommended Posts

"Major tax filing services such as H&R Block, TaxAct, and TaxSlayer have been quietly transmitting sensitive financial information to Facebook when Americans file their taxes online, The Markup has learned. 

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. "

Surprise, Surprise!  Another reason to never use Facebook!

  • Like 1
  • Thumbs Down 1
  • Angry 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has this report been verified or is it just a conspiracy theory?  If so, sharing tax info is a major violation of Circular 230 and these firms can lose their ability to prepare tax returns.  Back in the days when Block offered mortgages and financial services, there was a form clients could sign to allow sharing their tax info with these subsidiaries.  Is there a form they now sign allowing sharing with Facebook?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Think of Meta Pixels as next generation programmable cookies, which Meta provides to business users to "enhance the users online experience" with the information

then being shared with Meta, which includes Facebook, Instagram and to a lesser extent Whatsapp.  Meta Pixels are apparently very hard to avoid and very

difficult to get rid of.  Supposedly Google some similar tracking but not at this depth.

"The Markup found sensitive data sent to Facebook on the Education Department’s federal student aid application website, crisis pregnancy websites, and the websites of prominent hospitals. "

"The Markup tested the websites of Newsweek’s top 100 hospitals in America. On 33 of them we found the tracker, called the Meta Pixel, sending Facebook a packet of data whenever a person clicked a button to schedule a doctor’s appointment. The data is connected to an IP address—an identifier that’s like a computer’s mailing address and can generally be linked to a specific individual or household—creating an intimate receipt of the appointment request for Facebook."

Unless we go completely off grid or avoid other parties websites like the plague we are all being tracked.🤢

  • Angry 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you want to see something scary try this, with your smartphone being closed, the say any of the following words:

Thinning hair

cellulitis 

receding hairline

Then open Facebook and you’ll  start seeing ads for hair transplant, cosmetic surgery etc..

  • Like 1
  • Sad 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, BTS said:

I wonder how much revenue selling this info generates ?

Meta's website doesn't explicitly say, but how it appears to work is that Meta will let businesses use the programmable Pixels for free

in return for receiving the information, which Meta then uses for marketing and advertising which is how they generate revenue.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, BTS said:

I wonder how much revenue selling this info generates ?

Nothing is provided free. Free email? No, the provider is somehow making money from you and trying to limit their expenses such as over aggressive filtering to reduce bandwidth. (One example, and why free email is not wise for business use, or really not even for personal use, the lack of control over what you actually see and when.)

“Gmail is a part of (but does not make up entirely) Google’s “Google Search & other” ad revenue segment on their annual report. Which, in 2021, generated $148.95 billion of Google’s total $257.63 billion in revenue.”

It is safe to believe getting non generic info, such as via the tracker; is more valuable than just serving ads.

On the other hand, many don’t bother with over worry about privacy, accepting the risks and enjoying the “free” services.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, Slippery Pencil said:

Seems more a reason to never use Intuit, TaxAct, TaxSlayer, & Block since they're the ones illegally selling client data.

Google is also involved. Sounds like the methods used would mean the professional software versions weren't using this but it seems there should be some clarification on that fact. I'm sure nothing will come of this but the IRS needs to take some serious action very soon. Again, doubt they will.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I, as a tax preparer, shared any of this personal data with anyone it would be considered an ethical violation under circ 230 and my professional standards. Why is the IRS not cracking down and fining these software companies when the agency has other ridiculous standards for us such as the size of micro-shredded chips and all the various other rules for safeguarding taxpayers' data and privacy?  This is infuriating! 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, jklcpa said:

This is infuriating! 

Exactly.   What Judy says.   

There is a confirmation hearing coming up for a new IRS Commissioner.   Perhaps we should send an email to our Senators and ask them to ask the new commissioner designate about this situation and his plans about it moving forward.

If IRS lets them get away with this, we will have no good reason to try to persuade our clients that their personal data included in their tax return is safe with the IRS. 

Tom
Longview, TX

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, BulldogTom said:

 

If IRS lets them get away with this, we will have no good reason to try to persuade our clients that their personal data included in their tax return is safe with the IRS. 

Tom
Longview, TX

So far, the sharing of personal tax information with Meta appears to have been mostly limited to the taxpayers that used the online versions of Taxact, Tax Slayer and H & R Block to prepare their own returns. In addition:   "The Markup also found the pixel code on a tax preparation site operated by a financial advice and software company called Ramsey Solutions, which uses a version of TaxSlayer’s service.That pixel gathered even more personal data from a tax return summary page, including information on income and refund amounts." (Ramsay Solutions is a spinoff of the The Dave Ramsay Show)

As a practical matter, I don't think that I have a single client or any family member that will read or hear about this.

Issues and problems like this are only noticed by accountants, financial advisors, and other computer/technically literate people.

 

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/23/2022 at 1:08 PM, ILLMAS said:

If you want to see something scary try this, with your smartphone being closed, the say any of the following words:

Thinning hair

cellulitis 

receding hairline

Then open Facebook and you’ll  start seeing ads for hair transplant, cosmetic surgery etc..

Even better/worse: leave your phone behind, and say those words yourself near someone else's phone - you'll get the same ads. Voice recognition.

  • Sad 1
  • Thumbs Down 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

From what I read, at least one company claims it was "not aware" this was being sent and shut down the entire info feed immediately. For whatever that's worth. But yes, total violation of Circ 230 if they had any knowledge. If truly without knowledge & consent, then felony thefts of sensitive information. Public hangings to commence after speedy public trial and conviction?

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had an email from a client who had read the article and demanded to know what software we use to file returns.  The article didn't make clear that it seemed to be DIY software that was passing along info.  The IRS does take violations of taxpayer privacy seriously.  It may take time to investigate and it will be difficult to impossible to identify the responsible parties, but I fully expect IRS to shut down these services and fine them more money than they have. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Sara EA said:

The IRS does take violations of taxpayer privacy seriously.  It may take time to investigate and it will be difficult to impossible to identify the responsible parties, but I fully expect IRS to shut down these services and fine them more money than they have. 

I wish I had the same faith in our government institutions that you do, but I just don't see the IRS taking on HRB and Meta.  I guess I am just jaded at this point.

However, I did contact both my Senators via their website and let them know about this.   

Tom
Longview, TX

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...