WakeMed may have sent patient data to Facebook

Raleigh, N.C.-based WakeMed is notifying patients that some of their data may have been inadvertently sent to Facebook.

WakeMed said in an Oct. 14 news release that it had placed Facebook's Meta Pixel on its website and MyChart patient portal in March 2018 to better connect patients to the portal. The health system is notifying individuals who made an appointment or logged into MyChart on the website (though not through the app) between March 2018 and May 2022.

"Unfortunately, the [Meta Pixel] software code may have also transmitted some of the information entered into the MyChart patient portal and appointment scheduling page back to Facebook," the health system stated.

The data may have included email addresses, phone numbers, medication information, appointment types and physicians, the health system stated. WakeMed said it disabled the feature in May.

"WakeMed has initiated a comprehensive review of our policies and procedures related to gathering website user data and will make changes as needed to enhance privacy and prevent a situation like this from happening in the future," the news release stated. "At this time, WakeMed is unaware of any improper use or attempted use of any patient information by [Facebook parent company] Meta or any other third party."

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