Meta was sued for allegedly violating users' right to privacy by collecting data from users of popular third-party tax software.

The filing relates to recent allegations that online tax software tools like H&R Block, TaxAct, and TaxSlayer used the company's "Meta Pixel," a piece of javascript code, to send information like names, email addresses, and more. , income information, student loan data. , and return the amounts to Meta.

The tech giant would then have used this to produce personalized and targeted ads based on data from platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

The lawsuit, which was filed on December 1, concerns users who use H&R Block.

The filing (opens in a new tab) claims that even though users "expressly refused" to share their data with Meta, the company still collected it.

Although the plaintiff's filing acknowledged that Meta requires companies to have the "legal right to collect, use, and share" user data, he went on to claim that it violated this, relying instead on "a broken honor system that resulted in repeated and documented violations of Meta's own contractual promises and of state and federal laws."

Despite the alleged misconduct on the part of the tech giant, current users of the aforementioned tax software should have no cause for concern.

According to The Markup(Opens in a new tab), all of the aforementioned tax platforms have either removed Pixel entirely or changed their settings to not collect additional financial information from users.

It is important to note that the tax services themselves were not listed as defendants in the filing, which located all the alleged irregularities on the part of Meta.

Meta is certainly no stranger to legal disputes.

The company has been slapped with a €265 million data protection fine by the Irish Data Protection Commission for claiming the company failed to protect the personal data of 500 million users, bringing the total number of EU fines to date of more than 1000 billion euros.

  • Want to make sure your data doesn't fall into the wrong hands? Check out our guide to the best privacy tools.
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