Facebook Knows Whether You Are Going to Have an Abortion Or Not

meta pixel collects medical data

It turns out Facebook is collecting data from select activities. The latest finding from Reveal says that Facebook collects data (via Meta Pixel) about people who visit the websites of pregnancy crisis centers. While this might sound not surprising, the researchers have real concerns about the misuse.

The authors found that hundreds of crisis pregnancy centers use the Meta Pixel on their websites. As you should know, this feature allows various site owners to keep tabs on who visits their websites. In effect, they can create ads on Facebook with better targeting and higher conversion.

meta pixel collects medical data

The crisis pregnancy centers have no licenses. Moreover, HIPAA and other privacy regulations can’t control them. Apart from this, they are “mostly run by religiously aligned organizations whose mission is to persuade people to choose an option other than abortion.”

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Meta Pixel Can Filter Out Medical Data

The Meta Pixel is capable of filtering “sensitive” health data. Meta’s privacy policy sees no problem here.  “In many cases, the information was extremely sensitive – for example, whether a person was considering abortion or looking to get a pregnancy test or emergency contraceptives,” Reveal reports. The feature also collected data that shouldn’t (at least, we think so). For instance, Meta Pixel got data about requested appointments. Not surprisingly, third-party anti-abortion marketing companies also accessed data.

Of course, Meta couldn’t turn a blind eye to this report. In an official statement, we read: “It is against our policies for websites and apps to send sensitive information about people through our Business Tools. Our system is designed to filter out potentially sensitive data it detects, and we work to educate advertisers on how to properly set up our Business Tools.”

It seems not only Meta but other tech bigwigs collect similar data. So it’s logical that lawmakers have already raised concerns about the issue. They request from Apple, Google, and other platforms to block apps that collect data targeting people seeking abortion services.

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