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In Germany, Doctolib sent user data to Facebook and Outbrain

In Germany, Doctolib sent user data to Facebook and Outbrain

Doctolib transmitted information to two online advertising giants in order to evaluate the performance of their marketing campaigns. The company put an end to this practice, which does not interest French users.

Doctolib medical appointment platform is the subject of new controversy. The German media Mobilsicher Reports indicate that the app has sent its local user data to Facebook and Outbrain, an online advertising service, for several months.

Among the data are searches made, for example to make an appointment with a general practitioner or specialist. Information that can therefore be linked to the health status of Internet users. In addition, Facebook also received its own IP address, which in theory allows Facebook to identify the user.

While such practices are theoretically used to deliver personalized ads, Facebook assures BFMTV that this is not the case when it comes to health data.

“We do not allow those who use our business tools to share health data with us. If companies provide us with this data, even by mistake, our filtering system is designed to remove health-related data that it does. It detects it before it is stored in our advertising systems. We We are working with Doctolib to ensure the proper implementation of our tools in the future” asserts the US company, which specifies that in the case of Doctolib, the information has been filtered and deleted.

There is no similar situation in France

Since the article was published on June 21, the platform has ended this practice, which appears to only pertain to the German version of Doctolib.

at Press release published on June 22Doctolib states that in France it “does not use any external marketing cookies on its website and mobile applications”. It was also determined that Doctolib had “set two cookies on Doctolib.de to monitor the performance of the marketing campaigns carried out.” A few lines later, their complete removal from their German service was indicated.

call him the worldDoctolib’s president, Stanislas Knox-Chateau, “asked Outbrain to erase all information” the site had returned to them. It also ensures that Facebook never stores sensitive data. Despite everything, the head of Doctolib admitted that the use of cookies in the medical field is “unwelcome”.

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Requiring medical confidentiality, Doctolib’s policy regarding the information of its users is subject to close scrutiny. In July 2020, hackers embezzled more than 6000 appointment booking data.