Last spring, the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal rocked Facebook to its core, leading to a slew of consequences that included a $5 billion fine from the Federal Trade Commission. However, that controversy also put some of Facebook’s plans on hold — including the creation of a personal healthcare tool that connects people to service providers and prompts them to get regular check-ups. Now, Facebook is preparing to launch the tool again, despite obvious privacy concerns.
Anticipating potential outcry over user privacy, Facebook was quick to explain that this tool won’t keep any data or share it with third parties.
“Health is particularly personal, so we took privacy and safety into account from the beginning. For example, Preventive Health allows you to set reminders for your future checkups and mark them as done, but it doesn’t provide us, or the health organizations we’re working with, access to your actual test results,” Facebook said in a statement. “Personal information about your activity in Preventive Health is not shared with third parties, such as health organizations or insurance companies, so it can’t be used for purposes like insurance eligibility.”
Despite this effort to calm users, it remains to be seen if anyone will actually trust Facebook enough to use this tool. After all, the social media giant has gotten dinged repeatedly for failing to protect us — so why give it your most sensitive data?
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