Tag: Sharing

Mother worried about inconsistency in sharing important N.B. Public Health info

A recent memo from the province’s acting chief medical officer of health to parents has raised concerns about inconsistencies in how the education system handles forwarding Public Health information.

On Jan. 12, Dr. Yves Léger advised parents and guardians about the spread of respiratory viruses, such as COVID-19, the flu and RSV, an increase in Group A strep infections, and steps they could take to protect themselves and others and the health-care system.

At least one school district — Anglophone West — forwarded the memo directly to parents right away.

But CBC News has confirmed another district — Francophone North West — waited three days, while others sent it to the schools to send to parents and still can’t say for sure if they did.

“They just kind of bobbled it’

Miramichi mother Kathleen Gadd says her children’s elementary school only posted the memo on Facebook six days later and says some schools still haven’t shared it, even though a child under nine has already died from an invasive Group A strep infection this year.

“This is something that really is relevant to every school family. And here’s this great communication from the Department of Health, the first direct communication that we’ve had from the Department of Health since 2022. And they just kind of bobbled it,” she said.

It’s a stark contrast to the way the school system handled Public Health messaging early in the pandemic, when all parents received information quickly through email and voicemail, according to Gadd.

A closeup of woman with curly brown hair and glasses, with two young girls.
Kathleen Gadd, pictured here with two of her daughters Renée Martin (behind) and Cameron Martin (right), contends education officials don’t seem aware of the risk of transmission of illnesses in schools or the role schools play in community outbreaks. (Submitted by Kathleen Gadd)

She thinks the problem stems from the

Sharing on parenting: Getting advice through social media

Parents of young children often have questions about how to care for their child. The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health asked a national sample of parents of children 0-4 years about using social media to share parenting ideas.

Most parents of young children (80%) say they use social media to discuss parenting topics. More mothers than fathers use social media to look for parenting advice or information (84% vs 69%) or share their experiences (63% vs 42%). Parents report using social media to learn about or discuss toilet training (44%), getting kids to sleep (42%), nutrition/breastfeeding (37%), discipline (37%), behavior problems (33%), vaccination (26%), daycare/preschool (24%), and getting along with other kids (21%).

Parents say they discuss these topics on social media because they want to hear different ideas (62%), it’s convenient (27%), they want to do things differently than their parents (25%), they don’t have family/friends nearby (9%), they don’t have enough opportunities to ask their child’s healthcare provider (7%), or they are too embarrassed to ask in person (5%). Parents rate social media as very useful for getting new ideas to try (44%), making them feel like they’re not alone (37%), learning what not to do (33%), deciding whether to buy certain products (25%) or when to take their child to the doctor (11%), and helping them worry less (16%).

Most parents (72%) identify at least one aspect of social media sharing that concerns them, such as seeing other parents doing things that are unhealthy or dangerous for their child (43%), difficulty distinguishing good vs bad advice (40%), others finding out their family’s private information (38%) or sharing photos of their child without their child’s permission (31%). Many feel other parents overshare on social media by bragging about their child (77%), sharing too often

Costco sued for unlawfully sharing pharmacy patient health care data

Costco pharmacy department-Folsom CA club_Shutterstock

The suit was filed in Washington Western District Court by four Costco customers who used the retailer’s pharmacy services via its website or app. / Photo: Shutterstock

Several members of Costco Wholesale have initiated a federal class-action lawsuit claiming the warehouse club giant illegally shared personal health information.

Filed on Friday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, the suit alleges that online activity-tracking technology used by Costco—including Meta Pixel code from Facebook parent Meta Platforms—captured sensitive and personally identifiable health data while these customers interacted with the Costco Pharmacy website and/or mobile app and transmitted that information to third parties, including Meta, without their consent.

Issaquah, Washington-based Costco couldn’t immediately be reached by Winsight Grocery Business for comment on the lawsuit, titled Castillo et al v. Costco Wholesale Corporation.

The four plaintiffs are California residents and Costco Pharmacy patients. According to the case documents, they ordered new prescriptions and refills; searched for medications, drug pricing and Medicare supplemental insurance; reviewed co-payment information; checked script pickup times; communicated with pharmacy staff; and provided “personal, private and highly sensitive information” while using the retailer’s pharmacy website or app.

Costco’s use of Pixel “compromised and disclosed to third parties”—without pharmacy patient authorization—such information as computer IP addresses, patient status, prescription details, vaccinations, treatments, patient location and health insurance coverage, as well as unique identifiers used to link patients’ private communications through the website to their Facebook accounts, the complaint said. All four plaintiffs indicated they generally remained logged into their Facebook accounts while online with Costco Pharmacy.

“Specifically, Defendant [Costco] used the sensitive information to gain additional insights into its patients and prospective patients, improve its return on its marketing dollars and, ultimately, to increase revenue. Costco encouraged Plaintiffs and the Class
Members [pharmacy customers] to access and use

Costco Sued, Accused Of Sharing Confidential Health Data With Facebook

Costco Wholesale Corp (NASDAQ: COST) is facing legal action, accused of sharing sensitive customer information with Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: META), the parent company of Facebook, without the customers’ approval.

A Seattle federal court lawsuit claims that the wholesale giant used Meta’s analytical tool, Meta Pixel, on its website, compromising the privacy of its customers.

The tool, designed to track website visitors and their activities, allegedly provided Meta with access to a wealth of personal data, including susceptible health information of pharmacy users, the New York Post reports.

This revelation raises concerns about user privacy and data security, especially for customers who rely on Costco’s online pharmacy services.

The plaintiffs, four California residents, assert that Costco assured them of the confidentiality and security of their data on its platform. However, the lawsuit alleges that the company did not disclose its practice of sharing online activities and health information with Meta via Pixel, implying a violation of privacy and a breach of Washington State’s privacy laws, prohibiting user data’s unauthorized sharing, the NY post writes.

Although not named as a defendant, Meta clarified its position, emphasizing that its policies prohibit advertisers from sending sensitive information about individuals through its Business Tools.

The company asserts that it educates advertisers on the proper setup of Business Tools to prevent such occurrences and that its system is designed to filter out potentially sensitive data, according to the NY Post.

The plaintiffs are demanding a trial by jury, financial damages, and a declaration of Costco’s alleged unlawful conduct.

In 2023, the Irish Data Protection Commission slapped Meta with a penalty of a record €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) for user privacy invasion.

Price Action: COST shares traded higher by 0.39% at $564.26 on the last check Wednesday.

Disclaimer: This content was partially

Costco accused of sharing users’ health data with Meta

Costco allegedly shared website users’ private communications and health information with Facebook-parent Meta without their consent, a lawsuit filed Friday said.

The lawsuit filed in Washington Western District Court alleges Issaquah-based Costco used Meta Pixel, a code that allows companies to track visitor activity on their websites, in the health care portion of its website. The tracking pixel would allow Meta to have access to users’ personal and health information.

“Costco represents to patients that its website, which includes its pharmacy webpages, is a secure platform,” said the suit, which is seeking a class-action status. “Yet, Costco fails to disclose or omits the fact that it shares patient online activities and personal health information with Meta via Pixel.”

Costco’s executive vice president of administration Patrick Callans said in an email Monday that the company won’t comment on pending litigation. The retailer has not filed an answer in court. 

Meta, which is not named as a defendant in this lawsuit, said in a statement its system can filter out sensitive data.

“Advertisers should not send sensitive information about people through our business tools,” Meta said Monday. “Doing so is against our policies and we educate advertisers on properly setting up business tools to prevent this from occurring.” Costco is considered a Meta advertiser.

Costco’s pharmacy services include prescription refills, vaccine scheduling and home delivery. For users to sign up for the pharmacy services, they need to give Costco personal and health information. According to the lawsuit, Costco says it keeps the information secure and private, but using tracking services including Pixel violates the privacy.

“By secretly recording and transmitting data to Meta — without the user’s knowledge or consent — Pixel acts much like a traditional wiretap,” the lawsuit said.

Costco also violated users’ privacy because it let Meta collect communications

How Point out Regulations Affect Health Information and facts Sharing Practices


The latest raises in the use of well being details engineering (wellbeing IT) and electronic overall health records (EHR) supply avenues to untapped potential for enhancing health treatment productiveness and efficiency. Wellness information and facts exchanges, or HIEs, store health and fitness data so that patient care can be tracked even when it spans multiple health care vendors. However, despite the promising nature of the speedily expanding amount of digital overall health facts, well being information and facts sharing has had tiny result on wellbeing care to date.

Some of the variables that may well influence the uptake of wellness facts sharing techniques are the government procedures facilitating or hindering HIEs. A examine recently released in NEJM Catalyst Innovations in Care Shipping analyzes the part of condition plan in the adoption and use of HIEs.

“When lawmakers 1st handed these rules, there ended up unique theories on the finest approach to assist health data engineering and pretty very little evidence one particular way or the other,” said Cason Schmit, JD, assistant professor in the Division of Wellbeing and Policy Administration at the Texas A&M University University of Community Well being. “This examine presents robust proof showing the good effect of a precise set of lawful provisions. With this examine, lawmakers are improved positioned now to enact guidelines that can assist health info technology in their states.”

Utilizing a novel databases of state laws from 2000 by means of 2019, Schmit and colleagues from MIT, the London College of Economics, and Google evaluated 12 coverage proportions from four classes: governance of HIEs, sustainability and economical incentives, employs and consumers, and protections for underlying facts. The policy proportions had been calculated for each state by employing an HIE Regulation Index, with larger scores predicting increased adoption of HIEs. The researchers

Sharing well being information will enable patients. Blocking facts continues to be a challenge.

Health care leaders say the extensive trade of health care info in between hospitals, insurers, practices, and clients will inevitably be a video game-changer.

“We’re at a transformational instant in health care,” says Chad Dodd, vice president of product or service management at athenahealth, a health care engineering business that delivers electronic overall health documents.

The increased trade of details can enable patients be superior informed about their overall health, and enable methods to get a additional thorough check out of their sufferers. “That’s critical for improved affected individual treatment and improved affected individual outcomes,” Dodd says.

Nonetheless, Dodd and some others say the vital is to take out boundaries blocking health information and enabling for true interoperability, the place programs can exchange and use health info, he explained to Main Health care Government in a new job interview. Federal officers say some businesses are not sharing overall health facts.

In Oct 2022, a federal regulation took outcome drastically increasing the scope of wellness information to be shared by well being equities. It’s portion of the 21st Century Cures Act, which then-President Barack Obama signed in December 2016.

The Cures Act also consists of a “blocking rule” to prohibit health care companies from denying obtain to facts.

“Information blocking is a essential part of it. It’s a essential driver for the genuine interoperability throughout healthcare,” Dodd suggests.

Hundreds of problems

The U.S. Section of Overall health and Human Providers has still to introduce penalties for those people refusing to share overall health info. The Cures Act technically permits the overall health division to issue fines of up to $1 million, but the company nevertheless has to outline a technique of penalties.

Federal officials say facts blocking is occurring.

Since April 2021, 571 promises of possible info blocking have been noted,

FTC ‘makes example’ of GoodRx, fines business for sharing well being info

NORFOLK, Va. – Health-related data is some of the most sensitive facts men and women have, nevertheless the Federal Trade Fee (FTC) stated, for a long time, a key company was sharing it with advertisers for their personal obtain.

This month, the FTC filed a grievance towards GoodRx for “failing to notify buyers and other people of its unauthorized disclosures of consumers’ personalized wellbeing info to Fb, Google, and other firms.”

Federal regulators said the telehealth and prescription drug discount supplier promised end users they would not share their own overall health information but did in any case.

According to the FTC, this is a to start with-of-its-form proposed get, submitted by the Section of Justice on behalf of the FTC. The corporation explained, “GoodRx will be prohibited from sharing user well being information with applicable 3rd get-togethers for promotion functions, and has agreed to pay a $1.5 million civil penalty for violating the rule.”

The report especially pointed out that GoodRx:

  • Shared private health and fitness details with Facebook, Google, Criteo, and Others
  • Made use of Individual Health Data to Focus on its End users with Ads
  • Failed to Restrict 3rd-Celebration Use of Private Health and fitness Details
  • Misrepresented its HIPAA Compliance
  • Unsuccessful to Employ Policies to Defend Own Wellness Info

Herb Weisbaum, consumer qualified and Contributing Editor at ConsumersCheckbook.org, claimed this circumstance is about extra than just a single corporation. He claimed the FTC is sending a concept and “creating an illustration” of GoodRx.

“The fine $1.5 million just isn’t all that significant, but the ramifications are. If this settlement is approved by the court, GoodRx will be banned from sharing its users’ information with 3rd-social gathering advertisers. [They’re sending the message], if you collect this information and facts and share it with other organizations without having

FTC Enforcement Action to Bar GoodRx from Sharing Consumers’ Sensitive Health Info for Advertising

The Federal Trade Commission has taken enforcement action for the first time under its Health Breach Notification Rule against the telehealth and prescription drug discount provider GoodRx Holdings Inc., for failing to notify consumers and others of its unauthorized disclosures of consumers’ personal health information to Facebook, Google, and other companies.

In a first-of-its-kind proposed order, filed by the Department of Justice on behalf of the FTC, GoodRx will be prohibited from sharing user health data with applicable third parties for advertising purposes, and has agreed to pay a $1.5 million civil penalty for violating the rule. The proposed order must be approved by the federal court to go into effect.

“Digital health companies and mobile apps should not cash in on consumers’ extremely sensitive and personally identifiable health information,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The FTC is serving notice that it will use all of its legal authority to protect American consumers’ sensitive data from misuse and illegal exploitation.” 

California-based GoodRx operates a digital health platform that offers prescription drug discounts, telehealth visits, and other health services. The company collects personal and health information about its users, including information from users themselves and from pharmacy benefit managers confirming when a consumer purchases a medication using a GoodRx coupon. Since January 2017, more than 55 million consumers have visited or used GoodRx’s website or mobile apps. 

According to the FTC’s complaint, GoodRx violated the FTC Act by sharing sensitive personal health information for years with advertising companies and platforms—contrary to its privacy promises—and failed to report these unauthorized disclosures as required by the Health Breach Notification Rule. Specifically, the FTC said GoodRx:

  • Shared Personal Health Information with Facebook, Google, Criteo, and Others: Since at least 2017, GoodRx deceptively promised its users that it would
Back To Top