Pennsylvania Record

Friday, April 10, 2020

Class action accuses UPMC of violating patient privacy laws

State Court

By Sarah Downey | Feb 20, 2020


PITTSBURGH - A class action lawsuit filed in Allegheny County against the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) claims the health care provider violated privacy laws by sharing patient information with third parties.

The suit, which was filed Jan. 23 on behalf of two UPMC patients identified as Jane Doe I and Jane Doe II, states that UPMC provided access to personal information by using tracking devices on its patient portal that then forwarded private medical information to companies like Facebook, Bing and Google.

“[W]hen a patient exchanges a communication with UPMC at its web-property, UPMC re-directs the patient’s personal information and the contents of their communication to numerous third parties,” according to the suit, which was filed by attorney James Shah.

The six-count suit alleges UPMC’s conduct violates provider-patient confidentiality; the state’s Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act; the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law; and identity theft, negligence and intrusion statutes.

“In exchange for disclosing personally identifiable patient data and communications, UPMC is compensated by the third parties with enhanced advertising services,” the suit states.

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University of Pittsburgh Medical Center