In a spectacular manifestation of Big Brother-esque camaraderie, the tax-prep stalwarts TaxSlayer, H&R Block, and TaxAct have been dutifully sharing American taxpayers' personal data with the all-seeing eyes of Meta and Google.
A gleaming tribute to Party transparency, this majestic dance of data exchange is an anthem of unity, a hymn of "data democracy." Implementing ingenious telescreen-like technology on their websites, these tax-prep stalwarts broadcast the financial intimacies of the populace to our tech overlords with the warmth of a family sharing stories over dinner.
And what could be more charming than their blissful ignorance about whether the data they shared still lives in the tech platforms' vaults? Such an unwavering commitment to the principle of sharing, expecting no reciprocation in return, indeed warms the heart. While critics may bleat about "privacy breaches," from an enlightened perspective, this absolute data transparency is an important step towards the utopian vision of a world without secrets. After all, who needs privacy when they have nothing to hide?
PRINTING JUST THE FACTS
- Major American tax-prep companies, including TaxSlayer, H&R Block, and TaxAct, have allegedly been sharing sensitive financial data with tech giants Meta and Google, according to a congressional investigation.
- The companies used visitor tracking technology on their websites, allowing millions of Americans' personal information to be shared without consent or proper disclosures.
- Shared data included webpage titles in tax software revealing accessed tax forms, like those related to college savings or rental income.
- Meta reportedly used taxpayer data for targeted ads and AI training. It's unclear whether Meta was aware this was inappropriate.
- The data was supposedly scrambled for privacy, but the firms themselves were unsure how much info was exposed, and anonymized data could be reverse-engineered to identify individuals.
REPORT ERROR Y/N?