The kids may obsess about social media platforms. But just how much do patients want them to snoop into their most personal medical information, accessed due to hidden snippets of computer code embedded on the sites of some of the nation’s biggest and most respected hospitals, as well as facilities purportedly dealing with women’s reproductive health?
The cyber culprit that is taking heat from patient advocates is, of course, Facebook, the online giant built in part on its founder’s troubling axiom, urging his colleagues to “move fast and break stuff.”
Facebook not only provides a place for folks to glow about their latest vacations, share cat and dog pictures, and wish each other well on birthdays and other important occasions, the company has become a technology and online advertising titan. A key to its success rests in its capacities to track users via bits of code that users pick up like microbes or fleas when they troop through the Facebook site — or visit online clients of the company’s sweeping advertising enterprises.