"Patients should demand that their data not be entered into such systems," Malone wrote in a June 22 op-ed piece on LifeSiteNews. "Clearly, 'we' the people cannot rely on the U.S. government. Therefore, we have to protect ourselves."
He referenced a June 16 Markup article that elaborated on the issue. According to the piece, a tracking tool installed on hospitals' web pages for scheduling appointments is responsible for this data harvesting scheme. The tool called Meta Pixel collects information such as medical conditions, prescriptions and doctor's appointments and subsequently sends this to the Big Tech firm led by Mark Zuckerberg.
Markup scrutinized the websites of America's top 100 hospitals, and found Meta Pixel installed on 33 hospital websites. It found that the tool sends a packet containing the medical information to Meta whenever someone clicks on a button to schedule a doctor's appointment.
The hospitals with Meta Pixel installed on their appointment scheduling pages may have violated the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) – according to former regulators, health data security experts and privacy advocates. The HIPAA prohibits entities such as hospitals from sharing personally identifiable health information with third parties such as Meta, unless an individual has explicitly given consent or done so under certain agreements.
Neither the Big Tech company nor the hospitals involved said they had such contracts in place. Furthermore, Markup found no evidence that either of the two entities were asking patients if they wanted their data to be harvested.
"If Meta's signals filtering systems detect that a business is sending potentially sensitive health data from their app or website through their use of Meta Business Tools, which in some cases can happen in error, that potentially sensitive data will be removed before it can be stored in our ads systems," Meta spokesman Dale Hogan stated in an email. (Related: Facebook has secretly been spying on your medical internet searches.)
Following the Markup story, only seven of the 33 hospitals named in the report removed the Meta Pixel tool from their appointment scheduling pages.
University of Michigan law professor Nicholson Price denounced Meta's intrusion into otherwise private hospital data systems. "This is an extreme example of exactly how far the tentacles of Big Tech reach into what we think of as a protected data space. I think this is creepy, problematic and potentially illegal," he said.
Electronic Privacy Information Center Executive Director Alan Butler meanwhile remarked: "The evil genius of Facebook's system is that they create this little piece of code that does the snooping for them. They just put it out into the universe, and Facebook can try to claim plausible deniability." He added that the fact that Meta Pixel is on the websites of hospitals serves as "evidence of how broken the rules are."
According to privacy lawyer Iliana Peters, patients whose health information have been compromised have the right to file HIPAA complaints with their respective medical providers. While the medical providers themselves are required to investigate the complaints, she hoped that "institutions would respond quickly to those types of complaints so that they aren’t escalated to a state or federal regulator."
Malone put in his two cents on the issue. "The medical providers must understand that patients should be given a choice to opt out of the system. The right to privacy extends to healthcare in its entirety," he said.
"Our doctors and hospitals are being encouraged to buy cloud-based software solutions. These medical providers also need to be educated [that] these large cloud systems-based solutions have been corrupted. A movement to return to data entry systems that are not corrupted by Meta, Facebook, or Google needs to be jump-started."
Watch this news report about hospitals sending sensitive medical data to Meta.
This video is from the GalacticStorm channel on Brighteon.com.