GoodRx barred from sharing well being knowledge beneath proposed FTC settlement

GoodRx signage on the skin of the Nasdaq on the day of its IPO, September 23, 2020.

Supply: GoodRx

The Federal Commerce Fee proposed to completely bar prescription drug comparability website GoodRx from sharing customers’ well being knowledge with third events for promoting functions, the company stated Wednesday.

In a “first-of-its-kind proposed order,” the FTC additionally stated it is imposing a $1.5 million civil penalty for allegedly violating the company’s Well being Breach Notification Rule. Below the settlement, GoodRx is required to restrict how lengthy it holds onto private and well being info of customers, and to ask third events to delete client well being knowledge shared with them.

The FTC alleged GoodRx shared private well being info, together with consumer prescription medicines and private well being situations, with firms like Fb, Google and Criteo since at the least 2017, regardless of guarantees to not present consumer knowledge to advertisers or third events. The company additionally claims GoodRx used private well being knowledge to focus on its customers with personalised adverts on Fb and Instagram. For instance, in keeping with the FTC, GoodRx in 2019 uploaded to Fb an inventory of knowledge from customers, who bought sure medicines, with a purpose to goal them with adverts.

Criteo stated in an announcement that it prohibits most kinds of focused advert campaigns referenced within the grievance in opposition to GoodRx and confirmed that it by no means obtained from the corporate “any personally identifiable info, akin to title or e mail tackle, or prescription and medical info,” linked to Criteo’s digital advert companies. Meta and Google have additionally beforehand stated they’ve insurance policies in opposition to advertisers sharing delicate info with their companies or concentrating on customers primarily based on such knowledge.

GoodRx stated in a press launch that it disagrees with the FTC’s allegations and does not admit wrongdoing. It stated that the settlement permits the corporate to keep away from costly and time-consuming litigation and that the settlement “may have no materials affect on our enterprise.”

“The settlement with the FTC focuses on an previous situation that was proactively addressed virtually three years in the past, earlier than the FTC inquiry started,” GoodRx stated, including that it made updates to safeguard consumer security earlier than it was contacted by the company.

GoodRX shares have been up 3.5% on Wednesday to $5.79. The inventory has misplaced greater than three-quarters of its worth previously 12 months.

GoodRx stated in a weblog submit that medical data weren’t shared by way of its use of the Fb pixel, the code web sites use for promoting. Even so, GoodRx stated, it “led the trade by eradicating the usual Fb Javascript pixel virtually three years in the past.”

FTC Commissioners voted 4-0 to refer the proposed order to the Division of Justice to file it on the FTC’s behalf.

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GoodRx barred from sharing well being knowledge beneath proposed FTC settlement