WakeMed sued for allegedly sending patient data to Facebook

Raleigh, N.C.-based WakeMed is facing a patient-led lawsuit for installing a pixel tracking tool from Facebook on its website and patient portal that allegedly led to patient data being sent to the social media company.  

The lawsuit alleged that for at least four years, WakeMed had the tracking tool, Meta Pixel, installed on its website and patient portal, which allowed it to capture and transmit certain information entered by patients. 

Patient information such as names, contact details, computer IP addresses, emergency contact information, check-in information, Social Security numbers and financial information were allegedly collected by the tool without the consent of patients, according to the suit. 

The plaintiffs allege that WakeMed failed to safeguard patients' sensitive information from unauthorized disclosure.

WakeMed disclosed on Oct. 14 that it had placed the Meta Pixel on its website and MyChart patient portal in March 2018 to better connect patients to the portal and that it may have transmitted some information, entered into the MyChart patient portal and appointment scheduling page, back to Facebook. 

WakeMed is among the hospitals and health systems that have been sued in recent months over their use of pixels. That list also includes Advocate Aurora in Downers Grove, Ill., and Milwaukee; Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago; University of California San Francisco Medical Center; and San Francisco-based Dignity Health.

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