HHS, FTC sound alarm about online tracking tech

The FTC and HHS are warning hospitals and telehealth providers about the cybersecurity risks posed by online tracking technologies integrated into apps or websites.

The agencies sent a letter outlining their concerns to 130 hospitals and telehealth providers. The letter singled out out the data sharing risks posed by the Meta pixel and Google Analytics, according to a July 20 FTC news release.

The news comes after the FTC hit BetterHelp with a $7.8 million fine for data sharing.

"When consumers visit a hospital's website or seek telehealth services, they should not have to worry that their most private and sensitive health information may be disclosed to advertisers and other unnamed, hidden third parties," Samuel Levine, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in the release. "The FTC is again serving notice that companies need to exercise extreme caution when using online tracking technologies and that we will continue doing everything in our powers to protect consumers' health information from potential misuse and exploitation."

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