Massachusetts health system sued for allegedly sharing patient data with Google

A lawsuit filed April 3 alleges that Dallas-based Steward Health Care System's website used a Meta pixel tracking tool that sent some patient information to Meta and Google, Class Action reported April 10. 

According to the lawsuit, Steward Health Care System installed a coding program on its website that shared patients' website interactions with Meta and Google. 

The plaintiff says that due to this unauthorized disclosure, Steward Health Care System violated federal and state privacy laws. 

"As the patient sends search requests and views the resulting webpages, this information is automatically sent directly to Google," the lawsuit reads. 

The plaintiff also alleges that since using the health system's website, they have been receiving advertisements for various medical services via Facebook.  

The move comes as hospitals and health systems across the country are facing similar lawsuits alleging that they have put pixel tracking technologies onto their websites and patient portals for marketing purposes. 

A recent Health Affair study also 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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