According to the FTC, more than 55 million people have used or visited GoodRx mobile apps and websites since 2017. Between 2017 and 2020, the company “revealed very intimate and sensitive details” to third-party ad tech and marketing companies such as Facebook, Google, Criteo and Twilio, the complaint said, and pledged not to do so. According to authorities, the disclosed data could link users to chronic physical and mental health problems, including substance abuse.
GoodRx also places no restrictions on how Facebook, Google, and other companies may use customer health information, allowing third parties to use the data for internal business purposes such as research and product development. said federal regulators. The regulator said GoodRx also “failed to maintain adequate protection” for users’ personal information, including an adequate formal written privacy and data sharing policy.
The FTC case focuses on GoodRx’s use of tracking tools from Facebook, Google, and other companies. Millions of sites and apps use such tools, called “pixels” or “software development kits,” to track data about user activity and use it for business purposes such as ad targeting and user analytics. shared with three parties.
Such tracking tools can collect information such as your first and last name, email address, mobile phone number, unique device ID code, location, gender, and Internet Protocol (IP) address. It can also record details of the user’s activities such as opening apps, clicking links, and viewing information about certain diseases and medications.
While such data sharing is prevalent in consumer sectors such as retail and travel, the FTC complaint alleges that GoodRx used tracking tools to share personal health data with advertising platforms for deceptive purposes. states that unauthorized disclosure of data has taken place. health industry.
GoodRx says it removed Facebook tracking pixels about three years ago.
Over the past few years, the FTC has stepped up its commitment to health privacy.
In 2021, the FTC announced that the developers of Flo, the health-tracking app used by more than 100 million women, will share detailed health information about their period and pregnancy with Google and Facebook to help them understand how their data is handled. accused of misleading users. Flo has agreed to a settlement with an agency that prohibits the company from misleading users about their privacy and must obtain consent from users before sharing their health details.