Irish data authority ‘concerned’ with sharing of illness data with Google and Facebook 

A report from the Irish data protection watchdog has said that health organisations in the country could be sharing sensitive data about personal illnesses with tech platforms such as Google or Facebook.

The Irish Data Protection Commission’s report, published on Monday (6 April) looked into the use of cookies and other tracking technologies online, and found a series of issues related to the use of trackers on health related websites,

The report found that health insurance websites were found to be “using advertising and targeting cookies, including cookies set by the Google-owned DoubleClick.”

Moreover, the Irish DPC noted that they were concerned “details of illnesses or conditions” that a user may search for on particular health websites, “is being shared with parties such as Google and Facebook through the use of either explicit profiles of logged-in customers, or through predictive profiles based on unique identifiers.”

In these cases, the report continues, there may not be a lawful basis for the storing and processing of such data.

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