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Several Online Pharmacies Leak Sensitive Health Data To Third Parties
As the demand for digital services keeps growing, online pharmacies have become a very important part of essential digital services. When sensitive personal data such as medicine orders are processed, privacy issues become increasingly important. In this paper, we take a look at personal data delivered to third parties in 20 Finnish online pharmacies. More specifically, we study whether the data on prescription medicine orders is leaked out to third-party analytics services.
Our findings reveal that 14 (70%) of studied pharmacies send out information about the customers intending to order prescription medicines to third parties, and 7 (35%) of the pharmacies even leak the data about the specific prescription medicine a specific customer is ordering. We also discuss implications of the data leaks and give suggestions on how this alarming state of affairs can be alleviated.