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Category Archives: E-Records

Office of Civil Rights Issues Guidance on HIPAA Compliant Use of Meta Pixels

ABA: “A Meta Pixel is a code embedded in websites that tracks users’ online activities and sends such activities as discrete packets of user data to Meta, the parent company of Facebook. The Meta Pixel can track “users as they navigate through a website, logging which pages they visit, which buttons they click, and certain information they enter into forms.” In return for embedding the Pixel in a website, a website owner is provided with analytics about advertisement and tools to better target website visitors. Meta can couple the data provided via the Pixel with its own database of Facebook users to re-identify users, provide targeted ads based on health conditions, or to sell the data on to third-party advertisers. Meta Pixels, and cookies in general, are broadly used by many companies on a variety of websites. The Markup Investigation Spotlights Meta Pixels Embedded in U.S. Hospital Websites – In June 2022, the use of Meta Pixels specifically in U.S. hospital websites came to the public’s attention because of the Markup’s investigative article. The Markup, a technology-focused investigative news organization, collaborated with Mozilla, a non-profit web browser organization, to launch a study of the prevalence of Meta Pixel embedded in websites and the extent to which users are quietly tracked across the internet from January to July 2022. The study, titled “Pixel Hunt,” was motivated by the organizations’ desire to fully understand the scope of the Pixel’s use and how and where the Meta Pixel is tracking web users. In addition, the Markup tested the websites of the Newsweek’s top 100 hospitals in America and discovered 33 of the hospital websites contained Meta Pixel. The Markup’s investigation revealed patients’ IP address, doctor’s name, and associated medical conditions were disclosed to Meta via data packets when patients made a doctor’s appointment. Meta Pixel was also found embedded in user-authentication webpages, which are areas of websites that can only be accessed after logging in. The Markup set up a test account on a hospital’s patient portal and found information, such as sexual orientation and medication usage, were disclosed to Meta via the Pixel. Since the Markup’s investigation, 28 of the 33 hospital websites removed the Meta Pixel from their websites. Additionally, several hospitals that used Meta Pixel reported data breaches, citing the use of the Pixel for the data breach, to the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR), which enforces the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)…”

Why won’t Google give a straight answer on whether Bard was trained on Gmail data?

Skiff Blog: “… Google’s Smart Compose feature was trained on Gmail users’ private emails.Bard is not Google’s only language-focused machine learning model. Anyone who’s used Gmail in the past few years knows about the Smart Compose and Smart Reply features, which auto-complete sentences for you as you go.According to Google’s 2019 paper introducing Smart Compose, the feature was trained… Continue Reading

Driver’s Licenses, Addresses, Photos: Inside How TikTok Shares User Data

The New York Times [alternate free link]: “Employees of the Chinese-owned video app have regularly posted user information on a messaging and collaboration tool called Lark, according to internal documents… In August 2021, TikTok received a complaint from a British user, who flagged that a man had been “exposing himself and playing with himself” on… Continue Reading

CISA, FBI, NSA, MS-ISAC Publish Updated #StopRansomware Guide 

“Updated guide developed through the Joint Ransomware Task Force provides best practices and resources to help organizations reduce the risk of ransomware incidents. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), National Security Agency (NSA), and Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) today published the #StopRansomware Guide—an updated version of… Continue Reading

Thomson Reuters brings forward vision to redefine the future of professionals with content-driven AI technology

“Thomson Reuters plugin with Microsoft 365 Copilot helps unlock the value of generative AI for legal professionals  a global content and technology company, today brings forward its vision to redefine the future of professionals through generative artificial intelligence (AI). At a time of rapid global innovation, Thomson Reuters is at the forefront, helping its customers… Continue Reading

Google Builds on Tech’s Latest Craze With Its Own A.I. Products

Washington Post: “Google is changing the way we search with AI. It could upend the web. Google Search will start answering some queries directly by generating its own results — a move dreaded by publishers and bloggers..” The New York Times: “On Wednesday [May 10, 2023], at its annual conference in Mountain View, Calif., the… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, May 7, 2023

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, May 7, 2023 – Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the… Continue Reading

New Tool Shows if Your Car Might Be Tracking You, Selling Your Data

Vice: “A new tool that is free to use for consumers aims to better inform people about the types of data their particular car manufacturer might be collecting and sharing about their identity and driving patterns. The Vehicle Privacy Report tool, made by automotive privacy company Privacy4Cars, is based on a manual and automatic analysis… Continue Reading

Whistleblowers Are the Conscience of Society, Yet Suffer Gravely For Trying to Hold the Rich and Powerful Accountable For Their Sins

Via LLRX –  Whistleblowers Are the Conscience of Society, Yet Suffer Gravely For Trying to Hold the Rich and Powerful Accountable For Their Sins – Lawyer, activist, author, and whistleblower Ashley Gjovik states: “I blew the whistle and was met with an experience so destructive that I did not have the words to describe what… Continue Reading