The Verge: Tax filing websites have been sending users’ financial information to Facebook. “The data, sent through widely used code called the Meta Pixel, includes not only information like names and email addresses but often even more detailed information, including data on users’ income, filing status, refund amounts, and dependents’ college scholarship amounts.”
The folks at the Census Bureau are working on a tool to scrape tax data from the Web. “…researchers at the Census Bureau are studying and applying methods for unstructured data, text analytics and machine learning. These methods belong to the realm of ‘Big Data.’ Big Data refers to large and frequently generated datasets representing a variety of structures. As opposed to designed survey data, Big Data are ‘found’ or ‘organic’ data. Typically, these data are created for a click log, a social media blog or an online PDF report, but are innovatively repurposed and used for something else such as inferring behavior. Since the data were not specifically designed to infer, they often have unique challenges.”
And another one – the Russian State Duma has passed its own version of a “Google Tax”. “Google sells its content through its Google Play platform, which will be subjected to the law alongside Apple’s AppStore and Microsoft’s appstore for Windows. The tax will be levied based on the customers identified as Russian residents by their credit card number or IP addresses.” It still has to pass the Federation Council and be approved by President Putin, but if it does it’ll go into effect at the beginning of the year.
The latest country to send tax notices to high tech and social media companies is Pakistan. “Pakistan’s Punjab government has served tax notices to social media networking websites Google and Facebook as well as video-sharing websites YouTube and Dailymotion, asking them to register by June 17 and pay for displaying Punjab-specific advertisements.”