According to recent action taken by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the answer is a resounding yes.
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The FTC recently took action against GoodRx for the unauthorized disclosures of personal health information under the FTC’s 2009 Health Breach Notification Rule.
It appears the FTC wanted to weigh in on the recent privacy concerns surrounding website pixel tracking technologies and set an example.
Allegedly, GoodRx violated the FTC’s act by sharing personal health information for years, contrary to its privacy promises. The FTC’s complaint alleges that it shared information with Facebook, Google, Criteo and more.
All healthcare organizations need to be aware of all the technologies used in their businesses. This includes pixel tracking technology and artificial intelligence that can collect data.
GoodRX will be prohibited from sharing health data with applicable third parties for advertising purposes and will pay a $1.5 million civil penalty for violation of the rule.
It is essential that healthcare entities know how their websites and apps process and share consumer data, even when not covered by HIPAA.
If you are a concerned healthcare entity, what should you do to protect your practice?
Do an audit of all technology used in your practice. Make sure you understand your website and the apps or plug ins therein.
It is also important to do full compliance and HIPAA risk assessments and understand that technology that holds itself out to be ‘HIPAA-compliant’ may not be.
Healthcare entities need to stay alert and informed. It is clear that there is now another regulatory agency applying penalties for insufficient security and privacy protections of healthcare data.
With the recent advances in technology, pixel tracking and artificial intelligence, it is essential that healthcare entities stay on top of their privacy and security.
If your healthcare entity needs help protecting itself against possible FTC or HIPAA violations, contact Rickard & Associates today.
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