Meta Hit With New Privacy Lawsuit By Online Tax Filers


Meta Hit With New Privacy Lawsuit By Online Tax Filers



by  @wendyndavis, December 29, 2022

Meta Platforms was hit Thursday with a second lawsuit over allegations that it collects taxpayers’ information from online filing services.


This new complaint, like one filed earlier this month, alleges that Meta’s tracking code, the Meta Pixel, was present on tax-filing sites and transmitted filers’ personal information to the social platform.


“Thanks to Meta’s pixel and business tools, the tax filing services H&R Block, TaxAct, and TaxSlayer have been quietly transmitting sensitive financial information to Meta when Americans file their taxes online,” California residents Katrina Calderon and Danielle Calderon alleges in a class-action complaint brought in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.


“Meta would have known, or at best recklessly turned a blind eye, to the fact that it was collecting vast amounts of confidential tax information,” the Calderons add.


The complaint includes claims that Meta is violating federal and state wiretap laws, as well as other California state laws.


Late last month, The Markup reported that the Meta Pixel, was on several popular tax services’ sites, including H&R Block, TaxAct, and TaxSlayer. After The Markup contacted some of the companies, they reportedly revised their practices: TaxAct stopped sending financial information to Meta, while TaxSlayer removed the pixel from their filing sites.


Meta is facing a similar lawsuit over allegations that its tracking code collects sensitive health data from hospital websites.


The company has said its policies prohibit advertisers from sending sensitive information through Meta’s business tools, and that its system “is designed to filter out potentially sensitive data it is able to detect.”


The social platform won a round in that battle last week, when U.S. District Court Judge William Orick in the Northern District of California refused to issue an injunction that would have prohibited Meta from collecting or harnessing sensitive health data.



Online tax filing services “have been quietly transmitting sensitive financial information to Meta when Americans file their taxes online,” two California residents allege in a new class-action complaint.

 

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