Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
Many hospital websites have a tracking tool that sends sensitive medical information to Facebook when people schedule appointments, according to an investigation by The Markup. Experts say that the hospitals using the tool may be violating the medical privacy law the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA.
The Markup found that 33 of the top 100 hospitals in the United States were using a tracker called the Meta Pixel on their websites. Installing the Meta Pixel gives groups access to analytics about Facebook and Instagram ads but also tracks how people are using their websites: the buttons they click, the information they put in forms, and so on.
On hospital websites, that could include sensitive health…