ICO Questions Health Department on Facebook Deal
In the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has asked the Department of Health (DoH) for clarification about its online data sharing agreement with Facebook.
The issue first came to light last week, when a University of Southampton researcher noticed that every time a user visits an NHS Choices web site containing the Facebook ‘Like’ button, data about which page they are viewing is passed back to the social networking site.
Labour MP Tom Watson has also complained to Health Secretary Andrew Lansley about the code on the site, which enables Facebook and other firms to track the medical conditions users have searched.
He is today joined by the ICO, which has contacted the DoH to find out whether any details of individuals consulting the NHS Choices web site are available to third parties.
The DoH says it will be issuing the ICO with a ‘full clarification’ of its agreement with Facebook and other third parties, but has not yet removed the ‘Like’ button from the NHS Choices site.
NHS Choices is at www.nhs.uk .