Facebook Is Receiving Sensitive Medical Information from Hospital Websites

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From The Markup: “A tracking tool installed on many hospitals’ websites has been collecting patients’ sensitive health information—including details about their medical conditions, prescriptions, and doctor’s appointments—and sending it to Facebook.

The Markup tested the websites of Newsweek’s top 100 hospitals in America. On 33 of them we found the tracker, called the Meta Pixel, sending Facebook a packet of data whenever a person clicked a button to schedule a doctor’s appointment. The data is connected to an IP address—an identifier that’s like a computer’s mailing address and can generally be linked to a specific individual or household—creating an intimate receipt of the appointment request for Facebook.

. . . The Markup also found the Meta Pixel installed inside the password-protected patient portals of seven health systems . . .

‘Almost any patient would be shocked to find out that Facebook is being provided an easy way to associate their prescriptions with their name,’ said Glenn Cohen, faculty director of Harvard Law School’s Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics. ‘Even if perhaps there’s something in the legal architecture that permits this to be lawful, it’s totally outside the expectations of what patients think the health privacy laws are doing for them.'”

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1 COMMENT

  1. FACEBOOK?? WTF!!!
    From the beginning, I never had any relationship to FB. I saw it as selling personal information and assumed information to businesses for profit. When Zuckerberg was questioned by US Congress, a senator asked Z. how FB made money. “We sell ads, senator” was the answer. Was that a complete answer? How about:” We sell data about our members, and they don’t know it.”? “You are meat for our profit”?

    Now, how a hospital is paid for the personal and protected health information “given” to a social media organization is at the core. Obviously HIPPA forbids this sharing by a “covered entity”. How and why are these conflicts successfully ignored by US Government?

    Apparently always avoiding Facebook is not preventing Facebook from creating their record of anyone. Do we have the same people working at both places?

    We are being sold; and we never noticed it.
    Well some of us eschew both medicine and social media but what of the rest of the population?

    This will not end well.

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