According to reports, major tax-filing websites in the US like H&R Block, TaxAct, and TaxSlayer are transferring private financial data to Facebook.
The Verge reported that information received by Facebook could be used by the company to improve its advertising algorithms, no matter whether the person using the tax filing service has an account on Facebook or other platforms operated by Meta.
Users of the well-known service TaxAct, for instance, are needed to supply personal information, such as their income and investment information, in order to compute their returns.
Some of the data, including users’ filing status, adjusted gross income, and refund amount, is sent to Facebook using a pixel on the TaxAct website.
H&R Block’s website for tax preparation incorporates Meta Pixel into its design. It gathers information on how users use health savings accounts, as well as on grants and expenses related to dependents’ college tuition.
Another popular filing service, TaxSlayer, also shares personal data with Facebook as part of its “advanced matching” algorithm. In an effort to link website visitors’ accounts to Facebook, it gathers information about them.
“We take the privacy of our customers’ data very seriously,” Nicole Coburn, a spokesperson for TaxAct, was quoted as saying in the report.
Angela Davied, a spokesperson for H&R Block, said, “the company regularly evaluates practices as part of our ongoing commitment to privacy, and will review the information.”
Megan McConnell, a spokesperson for Ramsey Solutions, said that the company “implemented the Meta Pixel to deliver a more personalized customer experience.”
“We did not know and were never notified that personal tax information was being collected by Facebook from the Pixel,” the statement said.
“As soon as we found out, we immediately informed TaxSlayer to deactivate the Pixel from Ramsey SmartTax. Our customers’ privacy is of utmost importance, and we take concerns about our customers’ information very seriously,” Megan McConnell said.