MDLive seeks dismissal from privacy lawsuit: 5 things to know

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MDLive, a Sunrise, Fla.-based telemedicine provider, filed a motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit, sparking debate over privacy expectations in direct-to-consumer health apps, according to GovInfoSecurity.com.

Here are five things to know.

1. Lead plaintiff Joan Richards filed the lawsuit on April 18, claiming MDLive's telehealth app delivers screenshots of consumer interactions to a third-party vendor without appropriately notifying its users.

"MDLive takes an average of 60 screenshots of a patient's screen," the lawsuit states, according to GovInfoSecurity.com. "By design, the screenshots capture all the sensitive medical history information entered by the patient."

2. The third-party vendor in question, TestFairy, is an Israeli technology company that provides performance testing for mobile apps. The company's goal is to identify issues users may face when interacting with the app.

3. MDLive filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit in a Florida federal district court, citing its terms of use and privacy policy.

"Indeed, the terms of use contract allows MDLive to share the limited information Richards allegedly provided with third-party contractors — who are under confidentiality obligations with MDLive — to assist MDLive in developing and improving its app," the motion states, according to GovInfoSecurity.com.

4. MDLive's privacy policy says personal information may be disclosed to "contractors, service providers and other third parties to support MDLive's business," according to GovInfoSecurity.com.

However, it is unclear whether this policy invalidates the lawsuit. Steven Teppler — an attorney at Abbott Law Group — told GovInfoSecurity.com a policy this broad can be misinterpreted by consumers.

5. The attorney representing plaintiffs in the lawsuit — Dillon Brozyna, with the firm Edelson PC — declined GovInfoSecurity.com's request for comment. However, he said the firm will issue a response to MDLive's attempt to dismiss the lawsuit.

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