If you applied for financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in the US in early 2022, it is highly likely that personal information was provided to a platform that is completely irrelevant to the process: Facebook .
This report of The market exposed that, as early as January 2022, the US Department of Education sent website visitor data to Facebook, which could include information submitted in forms such as first and last name, country, phone number, and email address. email, through the “Meta Pixel”. tracking pixel — even if the person did not have a Facebook account. The market it also notes that this data collection began “even before the user logged into studentaid.gov.”
When asked about this monitoring, a Department of Education spokesperson initially denied that it was taking place, despite the fact that The market find a code that clearly indicates otherwise. Federal Student Aid COO Richard Cordray later confessed, telling the publication that the data collection was “part of a March 22 publicity campaign,” that he had “inadvertently” sent the data. personal to Facebook. The data exchange function was then deactivated. Cordray also said the data was “automatically anonymized and not used for any purpose by the FSA or Facebook,” without explaining how they were able to verify it.
Go read the full report for all the details. and to get a better idea of just how ubiquitous Facebook’s tracking capabilities across the web (referred to as “Meta Pixels”) really are.