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What Facebook Knows About Your Health

Social media has become a part of our everyday lives. We check it first thing in the morning, sometimes before we even turn over to give our loved ones a kiss, we check it on the train on the way to work, and even during conversations with friends. But perhaps the knowledge of how apps like Facebook are collecting dating and learning so much about you will make you want to swear off it for good because let’s be honest, it’s creepy.

Facebook may (or at least is trying to) know more about your health than your doctor does, and that’s because when you join groups or view pages it’s being monitored, and this is how the social media giant targets ads to you, The Washington Post reports. Personal data is collected about each individual who uses Facebook, and it’s shared with third-party apps, which led to a recent privacy crisis (the Cambridge Analytica data leak scandal exposed how the platform was collecting and using data). One of the major problems is Facebook didn’t just want to deliver targeted ads, it wanted information about your patient history, and according to CNBC, the company approached medical professionals and hospitals about sharing patient data.

The publication notes that Facebook wanted prescription information of patients, as well as details of their illnesses, with the intention of matching it with user data they had collected from their Facebook profiles. The data would reportedly only be used for research done within the medical community, but a representative for the company told CNBC that this work had not progressed “past the planning phase.”

Futurism points out that the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) states that patients medical data should remain private and safe, and Facebook’s attempt to collect this data may not have met these standards. Either way, it’s something that has been making headlines and has people worried about just how much of their private life is, well, private.

[Image via iStock/Getty]

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