A group of people have filed a complaint against Meta, the parent company of Facebook, for having collected medical data via the social network. This case risks tarnishing the image of the company, which has been suspected of collecting users’ personal data for several years.
According to an investigation by The Markup, 33 hospitals in the United States, including UCSF Medical Center and the Dignity Health Medical Foundation, have used the Meta Pixel tracking tool on their sites to spread targeted advertisements. The tool would collect information like patients’ general health, appointments, allergies and treatments.
A patient testifies that her medical data was collected without her knowledge, because she received advertisements related to her heart and knee problems. For its part, Meta assures that it requires that hospitals must first seek permission from patients before sharing their data before sending it to Facebook.
As the sharing of health data without the consent of the patient is prohibited by the federal law on the portability and the responsibility of the health insurance, Meta would be in the obligation to give rise to damages and interests to the patients concerned if this complaint was coming to an end.