Lawsuit accuses Pennsylvania hospital of secretly sharing data with Google, Facebook

A lawsuit alleges that Clearfield County, Pa.-based Mount Nittany Health used pixels on its website that sent some patients' protected health information to Facebook and Google, Centre Daily Times reported April 13. 

The lawsuit was filed by two unnamed individuals who claim Mount Nittany Health knowingly used the pixels on its website and did not inform patients of its usage. 

According to the suit, patient information such as who their medical providers are, treatments, location, and searches about specific medical conditions and treatments were sent to Facebook and Google. 

"A simple search for 'pregnancy' on Mount Nittany’s website allows Meta Pixel to capture that search term and tell Facebook that the patient is likely pregnant," George Bochetto, attorney for Bochetto & Lentz Law firm, told the publication. "Indeed, Facebook might learn that the patient is pregnant before the patient's close family and friends."

This comes after a Health Affair study found that 98.6 percent of U.S. hospital websites sent patient data to third-party companies such as Alphabet, Meta and Adobe.

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