US government fines health app for sharing data with Facebook and Google
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has fined US healthcare company GoodRx Holdings $1.5 million for sharing users’ personal health data with Facebook, Google and other third parties without their consent, according to the media. The company operates a telemedicine platform and has a free website as well as a mobile app that tracks prescription drug prices and provides coupons so users can buy drugs at a discount.
According to the FTC, the company violated a federal rule that requires health apps that collect users’ personal health information to notify consumers of data breaches. It is alleged that the data shared by the companies includes prescription drugs and diseases.
Here’s what GoodRx has to say
GoodRx agreed to settle the case saying it disagreed with the FTC’s allegations and admitted no wrongdoing.
“At GoodRx, protecting the privacy of our users is one of our highest priorities. We are thoughtful and disciplined about what information we collect and how and why we use it. The settlement with the FTC focuses on an old issue that was proactively resolved almost three years ago, before the FTC’s investigation began,” the company said in a blog post.
“We do not agree with the FTC’s allegations and do not admit any wrongdoing. Reaching the settlement allows us to avoid the time and expense of prolonged litigation. We believe that the requirements detailed in the settlement will have no material impact on our business or our current or future operations,” he added.
The development comes three years after Consumer Reports claimed that GoodRx shared people’s personal health information with more than 20 companies. The company also points out that nearly three years ago it proactively made updates consistent with its commitment to be at the forefront of user privacy protection.
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