According to a bombshell report earlier this summer from The Markup, a Facebook pixel tracking tool has been quietly collecting patients’ private medical information from hospital websites. Now, several lawmakers are pressing the company to explain this invasive data practice.
According to the original report, this Meta pixel tool has scraped medical information including doctor’s appointments, prescriptions, and health conditions. This could potentially violate U.S. privacy laws including HIPAA, so lawmakers are intent on uncovering the full extent of this data collection.
“There’s been substantial public reporting, controversy, and concern about the Meta Pixel product and the possibility that its deployment on various hospital systems’ websites, for example, has enabled Meta to collect private health care data,” Sen. Jon Ossoff said during a Senate hearing. “We need to understand, as the U.S. Congress, whether or not Meta is collecting, has collected, has access to, or is storing, medical or health data for U.S. persons.”
In response to Ossoff’s line of questioning, Meta Chief Product Officer Chris Cox said that he didn’t know if the company did this. However, he better figure it out quickly, because the pressure is ramping up on the social media giant to explain itself.
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