January 16, 2024
Consumer Reports and Boltive partnered to examine the data practices of ten health-related sites, focused on the use of that data for advertising. We collected and examined site cookies, advertising content, metadata, and privacy policies for evidence of collection and sharing to answer the central research questions: Are health websites sharing personal or sensitive data? Do consumers have the ability to control this sharing?
On the whole, it seemed that despite new health privacy protections in state laws, many health-related sites we examined shared data with third parties, often without easy-to-use controls. We end with recommendations for regulators and businesses on closing loopholes and prioritizing data minimization. Download and read the full report below.