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Certain hospitals in Alabama have allegedly shared protected patient information without consent!

Certain hospitals in Alabama have allegedly shared protected patient information without consent!

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Hospitals in Alabama that may have leaked private, protected health information

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Complaints indicate that hospitals in Alabama may have leaked the private, protected health information of their patients.

Certain social media websites that use pixel data to collect PII (personally identifiable information) have allegedly shared personal protected health information with medical providers, such as hospitals via their patient portals, sparking patient privacy concerns and a lawsuit.

Certain social media websites that use pixel data to collect PII (personally identifiable information) have allegedly shared personal protected health information with medical providers, such as hospitals via their patient portals.

The Alabama hospitals suspected of leaking private protected health information include:

  • Baptist Health
  • Huntsville Hospital
  • Infirmary Health
  • Brookwood Baptist Health
  • Archbold Memorial Hospital
  • Athens-Limestone Hospital
  • Cullman Regional Medical Group
  • East Alabama Health / East Alabama Medical Center
  • Marshall Medial Centers
  • Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center (RMC)
  • Vaughan Regional Medical Center
  • Crestwood Medical Center
  • Dekalb Regional Medical Center

The data collection is allegedly done without the consent or knowledge of patients, in direct violation of federal and state laws, as well as the social media organizations’ contracts with their users.

The Consumer Assistance Team urges victims that may have had their sensitive patient information leaked by an Alabama hospital to get a free, private case evaluation.

HIPPA Privacy Act requires separate consent for these actions to be lawful

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A class-action lawsuit filed in the U.S. Northern District of California claims social media companies’ pixel tracking tools scraped hospital website data and allegedly violated the medical privacy of “millions of patients.”

Social media companies allegedly “receive patient data — including patient portal usage information — from hundreds of medical providers in the U.S. that have deployed the pixel scraping technologies on their web properties,” according to the lawsuit.

The information scraped is monetized “by using it to generate highly-profitable targeted advertising on- and off-websites.”

So far, the legal team has identified at least 664 hospital system or medical provider websites where pixel scraping technologies have allegedly obtained health data for social media giants.

According to the victims, the alleged violations include:

  • a breach of the Federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act;
  • a breach of California’s Invasion of Privacy Act and Unfair Competition Law; and,
  • a breach of the social media companies’ duty of good faith and fair dealing

To meet these privacy requirements, the social media companies in question would need to have a HIPAA business associate agreement (BAA) in place in order to handle PHI in compliance with HIPAA. 

The Consumer Assistance Team believes that victims that may have had their sensitive patient information leaked by an Alabama hospital should receive compensation for losses.

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