back to article 96% of US hospital websites share visitor info with Meta, Google, data brokers

Hospitals – despite being places where people implicitly expect to have their personal details kept private – frequently use tracking technologies on their websites to share user information with Google, Meta, data brokers, and other third parties, according to research published today. Academics at the University of …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sucks to be you!!!

  2. b0llchit Silver badge

    Ignorance and no consequences. That is the problem.

    Time to create liability rules for both data collectors and processors (websites, brokers and all others involved in data collection, analysis and dissemination). Crushing cumulative fines for each infraction must be imposed if no (physical) in-writing consent is acquired beforehand.

    One is allowed to dream...

  3. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    $pam A$AP

    Every time I visit my local US healthcare website to just message a minor question to my doctor then I start getting healthcare related spam phone calls. When you are looking at US Healthcare then it's just Useless Healthcare most of the time.

    1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      Re: $pam A$AP

      Is this Kaiser? I filled a formal complaint that their computer system was breached by scammers. Any time my medical records were accessed, an illegal bot phoned me within 15 seconds about a scam offer for medical products or services. These literally interrupted phone calls with my doctor and in-person check-ins.

      Kaiser responded by saying that they opted me out.

      The web bugs on their website also intentionally export details of your interactions. Searches, prescriptions, treatments, everything.

  4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    "It's shocking, and really kind of incomprehensible," said Dr Ari Friedman,

    "People have cared about health privacy for a really, really, really long time,"

    Most healthcare in the US is "for profit". I'd be more shocked that tracking and data selling wasn't happening, no matter his statements. Unless and until the US government starts to take data protection seriously, nothing is going to change.

  5. gandalfcn Silver badge

    This is what the Tories plan for the UK.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge


  6. Mike 137 Silver badge

    A well established problem even in the GDPR domain

    This is far from a new phenomenon. Read this 2019 report to see how embedded it has become even in within the geographical scope of the GDPR.

  7. user555

    I avoid the worst by not owning a cellphone

    If work assigns me one, I then use it for work alone. A prepaid burner is an option for travelling though.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe, someday

    a visit to a hospital website will be considered sensitive health information, as it clearly indicates the visitor or a close relative was or is in that hospital, thus indicating the presence of a medical issue. Doubly so if it's a payment page; the visitor or their dependent was definitely at that hospital.

    Of course, pharmacy "discount card" companies aren't considered health insurance companies, and thus can do anything they want with the very sensitive information they get sent, like the exact prescriptions a patient takes, so I'm not holding my breath on the above.

  9. ldo

    Fahrenheit Percent?

    That means that, measured another way, as Celsius percent, it’s really only 37%.

  10. dave1120


    It is time to take the Profit off the table for the Medical Institutions!

    They have proven with all the False Studies that they simply can't be Trusted with Money in any way

    Fake Studies bring about useless medications and COST the entire WORLD a Fortune

    Allowing Morons to hold positions of Power anywhere in Society is what causes all of these problems, a Moron simply is incapable of making a good decision and should NOT be allowed to be doing So!

    All Governments have been infiltrated by Idiots and something needs to be done!

    1. BPontius


      It is the Dunning-Kruger Effect, most believe they are the exception and over estimate their abilities and knowledge. It isn't a matter of intelligence, but not having the skills or knowledge at the level you think you have. So there is no way for them to realize how incompetent they are. So even a panel of people judging potential leaders, would have the same bias of overestimating the skills of the applicants. Like the book "The Peter Principle", rise to your level of incompetence. Most people rise to or above their level of incompetence by making others believe they have the qualifications they don't actually have. (i.e: politics, management)

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