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Inside The Markup

The Markup Wins National Press Club Award

Our investigative series into trackers from Facebook, Google won for its service to the public

Photo collage of various illustrations from stories that were submitted for the National Press Club Award.
From left: Allison Vu, Anson Chan, Gabriel Hongsdusit, and Molly Ferguson

Investigations in The Markup’s Pixel Hunt series won the 2023 National Press Club Consumer Journalism award in the periodical and online publications category. The awards celebrate the “very best in journalism” that serves the public. 

The five stories recognized by the The National Press Club detail how trackers from Meta (formerly Facebook), Google, and other large tech companies are often collecting sensitive information about users from websites regularly used by the public:

A big congratulations to everyone who has worked on this series. Congratulations as well to our partners at STAT and The Verge, who have either coreported or copublished stories in this series with us.

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Our investigations led to broad impact and swift change. For example:

  • On July 12, a congressional investigation led by Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren cited and confirmed The Markup’s investigation that found that tax filing websites transmitted taxpayer data to Meta.
  • Many of the companies and organizations we’ve reported on—hospitals, health systems, telehealth websites, tax companies, and the Department of Education—have removed or reined in the use of the Meta Pixel and other trackers.
  • Three big tech companies—Google, Snap, and Pinterest—said they had taken action to investigate or stop the data sharing from the telehealth companies. 
  • Millions of patients have received data breach notifications from hospitals or health systems.
  • The coverage helped prompt multiple class action lawsuits and was cited in new guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services, in hearings in the U.S. Senate, and in multiple calls for action from Congress.
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Ongoing Coverage

The Markup is continuing to investigate websites that have shared sensitive data through the Meta Pixel and other trackers:

Follow our full Pixel Hunt series for our investigations and impact. Congratulations to all of this year’s National Press Club award winners.

We don't only investigate technology. We instigate change.

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