The Biden administration must investigate these massive breaches and prosecute anyone who recklessly violates the country's privacy laws. Furthermore, just like it's taking to task the tax filing platforms, Congress must set aside partisan differences to curb the power of Big Tech more generally — primarily by limiting how they collect and use sensitive personal and financial data to power their massive advertising businesses.
While Big Tech certainly merits harsh punishment if the allegations are true, the probe could pave the way to making the IRS play both the role of the tax preparer and tax collector and expand its purview in search of billion-dollar funding. Before pointing fingers at the tech industry, the government must stop the IRS from leaking confidential data that the federal government forces taxpayers to provide under the assurance that the agency will protect their privacy.
Tax filing companies aren't the only ones tracking us. Several artificial intelligence firms, including OpenAI, violate US privacy laws by collecting users' online data without permission. Nothing is foolproof, which is why before cracking down on harmful commercial surveillance or giving a mortal blow to the tax prep companies, the feds must get their act together — if they can't protect users' privacy from tax firms, how can they be expected to regulate the unchartered and booming AI industry?
There's a 67% chance that Meta will claim that there was AI-driven "coordinated inauthentic behavior" to influence the 2024 US Presidential election, according to the Metaculus prediction community.