A class action lawsuit was recently filed against Group Health Plan alleging the health care provider knowingly transmits confidential personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI) to third parties, include Meta Platforms, Inc.(Facebook).
Group Health Plan operates two websites, www.healthpartners.com and www.virtuwell.com which it encourage patients to use for booking medical appointments, locating physicians and treatment facilities, communicating medical symptoms, searching medical conditions and treatment options, signing up for events and classes, and more.
Facebook’s Tracking Tools Used To Transmit Private Data To Facebook
Both websites implement the Facebook’s Tracking Pixel along with its Conversion API which secretly enables the unauthorized transmission and disclosure of confidential PII and PHI as a user communicates. Facebook uses the information it receives to sell to third parties allowing them target their advertisements to personal interests.
Group Health Plan Knowingly Fails To Ensure Privacy Of Client Data
The action was brought against Group Health Plan given it should have known that by installing these tracking devices it would be sharing sensitive and confidential information with Facebook. By sharing this information it breached a number of contractual obligations and laws including –
- failing to obtain consent to disclose PII and PHI
- failing to design, and monitor its Websites to maintain the confidentiality and integrity of its patients information
- invasion of privacy
- risking patients private information
- breaching the implied contract of confidentiality
- violations of the Electronics Communications Privacy Act
- violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
The action is seeking damages including actual, consequential, punitive and nominal on behalf of class members.
Case Status: Open – Not Accepting New Clients