(RoyalPatriot.com )- H&R Block, along with other major tax preparation companies, such as TaxAct and TaxSlayer, are handing over sensitive customer data to Facebook as part of an advertising scheme, according to a report from Just the News.
In an initial report from the Verge, the companies are not only sending information of customers’ names and email addresses, as is usually common with the practice of selling email lists. The sensitive information being sent includes “data on users’ income, filing status, refund amounts, and dependents’ college scholarship amounts.”
The collected information, which was gathered using Meta Pixel, is reportedly used for advertising algorithms and is being sent to Facebook regardless of whether the tax filer has a Facebook account. Meta Pixel is a Facebook code that allows one to “track visitor activity.”
Companies contacted by the Verge reportedly said that they would review the data-gathering process, while a spokesperson for Facebook said that advertisers should not send users’ sensitive data through their company. The spokesperson said that this is a violation of the company’s terms and that “business tools” are set up to prevent such a thing from happening, adding that the “system is designed to filter out potentially sensitive data it is able to detect.”
This is not the only instance of companies spying on or exploiting users’ sensitive information. TikTok has recently caught the attention of some politicians after Apple discovered that ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, had access to data copied and pasted on users’ iPhones, according to a report from conservative magazine American Pigeon.
Former President Donald Trump signed an executive order in August 2020 banning TikTok in the United States, but President Biden reversed that order despite acknowledging that the app was harmful to American citizens because it could “access and capture vast swathes of information from users.”
Democratic Senator Mark Warner recently told Fox News that Trump was right about the app, telling parents that if their kids are on it then they should be concerned because the information is being stored somewhere in Beijing.