The proposed class action lawsuit alleges that the makers of InPen, a reusable Bluetooth insulin pen, illegally shared the personally identifiable information of users across the country with Google and other third parties.
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In the 65-page lawsuit against Medtronic MiniMed and MiniMed Distribution, Medtronic encouraged InPen users to sign up for the InPen Diabetes Management App for iOS and Android, describing the device and digital platform as “insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring.” It is advertised as an integrated system that combines For people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Notwithstanding the sensitivity of InPen user health information, Medtronic utilizes third-party tracking technologies, including Google Analytics, Crashlytics, Firebase Authentication, and similar tools, in its iOS and Android apps to track consumer data. I’ve been getting data on medical conditions and communication. The complaint alleges. According to the lawsuit, defendants could use this data for marketing and analytics, ultimately increasing their profits.
“While the full extent of MiniMed’s data monetization and sharing practices is currently unknown, information that MiniMed unlawfully transmits to third parties may be used to create highly detailed user profiles for marketing and other commercial purposes. It may be associated with other data, none of which benefit InPen users,” the lawsuit states.
The InPen is touted as a “smart” insulin delivery system that utilizes Bluetooth technology and an “intuitive” mobile app that allows users to take the right amount of insulin at the right time, the lawsuit said. Masu. Additionally, the InPen system provides a platform for patients to share information and communicate with their healthcare providers, the lawsuit says.
Among other things, the InPen app can automatically record insulin doses and timings, provide reminders and alerts if insulin is missed, and can be customized to the patient’s needs.
In the lawsuit, Medtronic and MiniMed told patients that protected medical information could only be used in limited circumstances and with written permission, and that “none of these apply here,” and that the iOS and Android apps could not be used. It also emphasizes that the tracking technology allegedly used is not included.
The complaint says MiniMed’s disclosure of patient data to Google is “particularly problematic” in that it gives Google access to the real identities and device identifiers of many InPen users through YouTube and Gmail.
“Plaintiff used his mobile device to access the app and also used it to access his Gmail account. As a result, his (personally identifiable information) and (protected health information) , (sic) was automatically associated with his true identity.Even if Plaintiff did not have a Gmail account, Google would have received Plaintiff’s personally identifiable information. “
The lawsuit alleges that even non-Google users can be personally identifiable through information collected by the InPen app because MiniMed sends Google patient email addresses, IP addresses, and related identifiers. I’m here.
Healthcare companies had already been warned in February 2020 that they may be disclosing sensitive patient data to digital marketing firms through the use of tracking technology, but MiniMed has kept InPen users’ data private until April of this year. It did not authorize collection, the lawsuit states. .
“In short, Minimed deliberately chose to put its own interests ahead of patient privacy so that it could access and monetize valuable patient data for future marketing efforts,” the lawsuit said. summarizes and emphasizes that healthcare providers are subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). ) is not permitted to use tracking technologies in a manner that exposes a patient’s personal data to third parties without their explicit and informed consent.
The lawsuit covers all MiniMed patients who used the company’s digital app and InPen while in the United States.
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