Fb collects your delicate medical data from hospital websites

Hospitals reportedly send private patient information to Facebook, potentially sharing health information with the social network via an ad tracking device.

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While Facebook still faces other cases, from mass data theft by hackers to penalties for spying on its users, a joint investigation by The Markup and Reveal reveals that many hospital websites have a tracking tool that sends sensitive medical information to Facebook when people book appointments. More precisely, Facebook would currently collect data on people visiting the websites of hundreds of pregnancy crisis centers.

MarkUp tested the websites of the 100 best American hospitals and found that 33 of them use a tracker called Meta Pixel, which sends a data packet to Facebook every time someone clicks or presses a button to book an appointment at the doctor. However, Meta prohibits websites and applications that use Facebook advertising technology from sending information to the social network about ” sexual and reproductive health “.

Read also – Meta: you don’t know what’s going on with your personal information? Neither is Facebook.

Facebook knows if its users are planning an abortion

The survey also focused on 2,500 maternity crisis center websites and found that at least 294 of these sites shared information about their visitors with Facebook. Some sensitive personal data included information on whether the person was considering an abortion or was trying to get emergency contraception or a pregnancy test.

Experts say hospitals using this tool may violate the Medical Data Privacy Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Liability Act, or HIPAA. This law theoretically does not prohibit Facebook from sharing data. However, according to one complaint, Facebook tells users that publishers only send data to Facebook if they have a legal right to do so. In other words, Facebook allegedly misrepresented its policy by gathering information from external websites that were not supposed to disclose it.

Neither the hospitals nor Meta said they had such contracts., and The Markup found no evidence that hospitals or Meta otherwise received explicit patient consent. ” Facebook knowingly receives patient data, including information on the use of the Patient Portal, from hundreds of medical providers in the United States who have posted Meta Pixel on their websites “, The lawsuit states.

Source: The Reveal

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