Cerebral Inc. notifying 3,179,835 patients of tracking technologies breach
Cerebral Inc. has notified HHS of a breach affecting 3,179,835 individuals. They are the latest entity to report a breach due to exposing personal or protected health information data through tracking analytics.
According to April Strauss, Esq.:
On March 6, 2023, Cerebral began sending emails to users of its platforms, admitting that it uses pixels and other similar tracking technologies on its mobile applications and websites to share personal user data, protected health data, and financial data.
Depending on a patient’s engagement with Cerebral and how their Internet browser or mobile device was configured, this highly personal information may have been disclosed to social media sites and others using ad trackers from Google, Meta (Facebook), TikTok, and others.
Cerebral has been disclosing this sensitive data since 2019.[…]
Depending on how users interacted with the Cerebral platforms and how their devices were configured, Cerebral said the following information might have been disclosed.
- If a user created a Cerebral account, the information disclosed might have included — name, phone number, email address, date of birth, IP address, Cerebral client ID number, and other demographic information.
- If a user completed any portion of Cerebral’s online mental health self-assessment, the information disclosed may also have included — selected services, assessment responses, and certain associated health information.
- If a user also purchased a subscription plan from Cerebral, the information disclosed may also have included — subscription plan type, appointment dates and other booking information, treatment, and other clinical information, health insurance/ pharmacy benefit information (for example, plan name and group/ member numbers), and insurance co-pay amount.
Read more about the breach and class action lawsuit at LegalScoops. And if you scroll down far enough on Cerebral.com’s website, past a lot of promotional material, you will find a link to their notification.
When contacted by DataBreaches, Chris Savarese, Senior Director, Communications for Cerebral provided the following statement:
In December, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued subregulatory guidance of existing regulations around what constitutes individually identifiable health information (IIHI) and protected health information (PHI) – a clarification that we expect to have significant implications across both the broader healthcare industry and the telehealth industry. Under the clarified guidance, all data – including the submission of basic user contact information – gathered from a healthcare entity’s website or app should be treated as PHI. We immediately took action to change our data transmission practices and bring them in line with our commitment to patient privacy. Guided by core principles of transparency and respect for our clients’ information, we are committed to correcting historical errors and leading the industry in privacy standards moving forward.”