Meta faces lawsuit for allegedly collecting patient health data without consent

Meta may have collected sensitive medical information without consent. The edge reports that two proposed class action lawsuits accuse the company and hospitals of violating HIPAA, the California Invasion of Privacy Act and other laws by collecting patient information without consent. Meta’s Pixel analytics tracking tool allegedly sent health status, appointment details and other data to Facebook when it existed on patient portals.

In one lawsuit, a patient said Pixel collected data from portals UC San Francisco and Dignity Health, which it used to serve ads about heart and knee problems. The second lawsuit is broader, alleging that at least 664 providers shared medical information with Facebook via pixels.

We reached out to Meta for comment. The company is demanding that websites using pixels be given the right to share data before sending it to Facebook, but plaintiffs allege Meta has refused to enforce its policies. It placed pixels on the facilities’ websites despite knowing what type of data it would collect, according to the lawsuits.

There is no guarantee that the lawsuits will achieve class status, and such lawsuits rarely offer large payouts to individuals. However, if successful, legal action could prove costly for Meta. They are seeking damages on behalf of all Facebook users whose healthcare providers rely on Pixel, and that could include millions of people.

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