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Duke Health Data Breach Investigation

The Lyon Firm is reviewing allegations of Duke Health Meta Pixel hospital data violations. We are investigating further healthcare privacy complaints nationwide.

North Carolina officials have confirmed the state is investigating Duke Health over accusations that the network may have used Facebook’s Pixel tracking tool. Attorneys across the country claim the Pixel tool is being improperly used on hospital websites, redirecting patient communications to Meta without the knowledge or authorization of individual patients.

Plaintiffs have filed class action lawsuits against the Duke University Health System and WakeMed Health. The patients of these institutions are meant to be getting notifications about the situation soon.

WakeMed has noted a potential privacy breach of about 495,000 patients. It is currently unknown how or how many Duke Health patients have been impacted.

According to a lawsuit filed by plaintiffs, over 600 hospital systems or medical providers transmit patient data to Facebook via the Meta Pixel tracking tool.

What is the Meta Pixel Tool?

Meta’s data trackers are embedded in many of the websites we all use. The Meta Pixel tool is a piece of JavaScript code that websites can use to track the movement of users across the site. The Meta Pixel tool records information liked user IP addresses and the actions of users.

On a hospital website, for example, Meta Pixel can record appointment information and any information selected from menus. The collected information and tracking data is then sent to Meta to be processed, stored, and used for targeted advertising.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated data breach lawyer and Privacy Attorney representing plaintiffs nationwide in class action security breach lawsuits.

Can You Sue following a Data Breach?

Entities that collect and store data have a duty to protect personal information to the best of their ability. When they are negligent, and a data theft incident occurs, they may be liable for the following:

  • Improperly monitoring data security systems for existing intrusions
  • Not ensuring that vendors with access to computer systems and data employ reasonable security procedures
  • Improperly training employees in handling emails containing personal data and maintain adequate email security practices
  • Failure to implement technical policies and procedures to allow electronic data access only to individuals or software programs granted access rights
  • Failure to implement procedures to review records of information system activity regularly, such as audit logs, access reports and security incident tracking reports
  • Improperly protecting against reasonably anticipated threats or hazards to the security or integrity of stored data

An experienced class action privacy attorney can determine if you are eligible to file a data breach lawsuit or join a class of plaintiffs. Lawyers investigating the matter can assist in determining the following:

  • Did Duke Health fail to adopt a privacy policy that would have prevented a breach?
  • Did Duke notify customers that their data was being shared?
  • Has the network provide a complete list of all individuals impacted?
  • Did they provide security in line with industry standards?

The HIPAA Breach Notification Rule calls for data breach notifications to be issued to the Secretary of the Health and Human Services “without unnecessary delay.” No later than 60 days after the date of discovery of a data breach, healthcare entities have a duty to alert the government and begin preparing to alert the public.

Consumer privacy attorneys say there has been a trend for HIPAA-regulated entities to wait as long as possible before alerting affected individuals, a practice that place consumers at a higher risk of identity theft and fraud.

In many cases, data breach notifications have been sent out many months after a security breach incident was detected. There may be valid reasons for a delay in reporting, though in some cases this institutes a severe disservice to those impacted by a data theft event.

Delays to individual data theft notifications could mean individuals’ Personal Health Information (PHI) has been in the hands of criminals for many months before they are even aware about the data theft.

Privacy lawyers claim promptly sending out individual data breach notification letters and being transparent about the fraud risk for individuals is not only ethical, but the only way to avoid stiff penalties.

The HHS has made it clear that if healthcare entities do not comply with the 60 day rule from the date of data breach discovery, they may be liable for notification violations.

Current and former Duke Health patients:

We would like to speak with you about your privacy rights and potential legal remedies in response to this data security incident. Please fill out the contact form, below, or contact us by phone.

If you were impacted by a data breach, you may consider taking the following steps to protect your personal information:

  • Review the breach notice you received and retain a copy
  • Enroll in any free credit monitoring service provided by the breached company
  • Change your passwords and security questions for related online accounts
  • Review account statements and credit reports for signs of fraud or identity theft
  • Contact a credit bureau to request a temporary fraud alert

What Should You Do Following a Duke Health Data Notice?

Regardless of the reason for a security breach, victims have the right to file a claim against a company for failing to protect their information. All companies and organizations must exercise reasonable care in protecting patient information, and if they do not, they can be held liable for the damages that result, including identity theft.

Security breach plaintiffs and privacy attorneys representing plaintiffs have been able to settle multi-million dollar recoveries. If you or a loved one has received notice of a data breach affecting you, or suspect signs of identity theft, contact a data theft lawyer for a free consultation.

Individuals can be ruined financially and emotionally, and deserve proper online security measures. But many companies and hospitals violate privacy laws and consumer rights, and thus face class action lawsuits.

After a data breach turns your life upside down, remember that you are not the only victim. There are millions of Americans who suffer from data privacy events every year, and in turn, seek legal action for compensation and to hold companies accountable for negligent security systems.

If you want more information on current data privacy litigation and how to file a data theft class action lawsuit, contact The Lyon Firm for a free and confidential Duke Health Meta Pixel data privacy case review.


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