“An article entitled: ‘Facebook Is Receiving Sensitive Medical Information from Hospital Websites’ is one of the more shocking investigative pieces of the week to not make main-stream corporate media,” Dr. Robert Malone writes.
The authors document how there has been a tracking tool installed on many hospitals’ private website pages, which have been collecting patients’ health information. This includes medical conditions, prescriptions, and doctor’s appointments. This tool is then sending all that data to Facebook/Meta. The authors found this tool was installed in 33 out of 100 of the top hospitals in the USA and on seven major medical systems, including “My Chart.” This means that a large percentage of hospitals have been directly sending patient data to Facebook (or Meta).
“The 33 hospitals The Markup found sending patient appointment details to Facebook collectively reported more than 26 million patient admissions and outpatient visits in 2020,” The Markup noted.
Dr. Malone referenced that experts say some hospitals’ use of an ad tracking tool may violate a federal law protecting health information.
Malone elaborated in his Substack:
To be clear, this is just the 33 hospitals that The Markup tested… Not the hospital systems or the vast majority of hospital and doctor’s offices who use these large cloud based or networked software systems in the USA.
In reading this, I was struck that patients should demand that their data not be entered into such systems. That a movement to return to data entry systems that are not corrupted by Meta, Facebook or Google needs to be jump-started.
As late as 2017, the government was actually worried about medical systems being hacked. But now? Where is our government in protecting patient’s rights?
Clearly, “we” the people can not rely on the US government. Therefore, we have to protect ourselves. Our doctors and hospitals are being encouraged to buy cloud-based, soft-ware solutions to “protect us.” These medical providers also need to be educated – these large cloud systems-based solutions have been corrupted. The medical providers must understand that patients should be given a choice to opt-out of the system. The right to privacy extends to healthcare in its entirety.
As Dr. Malone mentioned, corporate media has turned a blind eye to this story exposing another egregious Big Tech infiltration on American lives.
The legacy media isn’t concerned about protecting privacy rights for hospital patients.
Meta, Facebook, Google, and other Big Tech behemoths want to stretch their tentacles to suck up as much data and private information as possible on Americans.
The Markup relayed their concerns about this breach of patient privacy:
Former regulators, health data security experts, and privacy advocates who reviewed The Markup’s findings said the hospitals in question may have violated the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The law prohibits covered entities like hospitals from sharing personally identifiable health information with third parties like Facebook, except when an individual has expressly consented in advance or under certain contracts.
Neither the hospitals nor Meta said they had such contracts in place, and The Markup found no evidence that the hospitals or Meta were otherwise obtaining patients’ express consent.
“I am deeply troubled by what [the hospitals] are doing with the capture of their data and the sharing of it,” said David Holtzman, a health privacy consultant who previously served as a senior privacy adviser in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights, which enforces HIPAA. “I cannot say [sharing this data] is for certain a HIPAA violation. It is quite likely a HIPAA violation.”
University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center spokesperson George Stamatis did not respond to The Markup’s questions but said in a brief statement that the hospital “comport[s] with all applicable federal and state laws and regulatory requirements.”
After reviewing The Markup’s findings, Froedtert Hospital removed the Meta Pixel from its website “out of an abundance of caution,” Steve Schooff, a spokesperson for the hospital, wrote in a statement.
As of June 15, six other hospitals had also removed pixels from their appointment booking pages and at least five of the seven health systems that had Meta Pixels installed in their patient portals had removed those pixels.
Facebook itself is not subject to HIPAA, but the experts interviewed for this story expressed concerns about how the advertising giant might use the personal health data it’s collecting for its own profit.
“This is an extreme example of exactly how far the tentacles of Big Tech reach into what we think of as a protected data space,” said Nicholson Price, a University of Michigan law professor who studies big data and health care.
“I think this is creepy, problematic, and potentially illegal” from the hospitals’ point of view.
Read the full report at The Markup!