Social network giant Facebook has introduced a new health privacy tool to assist users to find the right groups to address their health requirements and concerns. Founder Mark Zuckerberg, at Facebook’s annual F8 conference, opened the event with a keynote centered around privacy and how the company intends to make a “fundamental shift in how we build products and run our company.”
According to the head of the Facebook app, Fidji Simo, “Different communities have different needs, so we’re introducing new features for different types of groups.” He further noted that “Through new Health Support groups, members can post questions and share information without their name appearing on a post.” Afterward, sending questions and posting to the health group administrators, the support group then will be able to post those questions on their behalf to the group. The designation of a health group is a new function and likely comes in response to recent reports that criticized how the app handles health data. According to the reports, a group of health privacy experts, in a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, accused the social media platform of misleading users about its privacy policies, even in groups with a closed designation.
The 43-page complaint, which made public in this February, alleged Facebook that “deceptively solicited patients to use its groups’ product to share personal health information about their health issues.” Moreover, the group also accused the company of failing to defend the susceptible health data uploaded by its users, which was then uncovered to the public. Besides this, a research report found that the numbers of applications share susceptible user data with Facebook, often without user consent.