Health Sites Share User Info With Facebook | Avast

A recent study by Duke University and patient privacy group Light Collective found that several genetic-testing and digital medicine companies have shared their users’ information with Facebook to enable ad targeting. Ten patient advocates active in the cancer support community downloaded and analyzed their data from Facebook’s “Off Facebook Activity” feature, a record of user information that third parties have shared with the social media giant. Among retail and media sites, researchers were shocked to discover that certain health sites were also sharing user info. “Most users would be shocked to find out the kind of information being shared around not only health-related sites, but the ad industry in general,” commented Avast Security Evangelist Luis Corrons. “We are talking about a multi-billion dollar business, where there is a clear benefit to fine-tuning ads. That’s why privacy must be in the center of our concerns. We need to be and feel free to enjoy our digital lives safely.” For more on this story, originally published in WIRED, see Ars Technica.

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