Facebook’s parent company Meta and major US hospitals violated medical privacy laws with a tracking tool that sends health information to Facebook, two proposed class-action lawsuits allege. The lawsuits, filed in the Northern District of California in June and July, focus on the Meta Pixel tracking tool. The tool can be installed on websites to provide analytics on Facebook and Instagram ads. It also collects information about how people click around and input information into those websites.
An investigation by The Markup in early June found that 33 of the top 100 hospitals in the United States use the Meta Pixel on their websites. At seven hospitals, it was installed on password-protected patient portals. The investigation found that the tool was sending information about patient health conditions, doctor appointments, and medication allergies to Facebook.