Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Health-related website search information may be leaked to third-party tracking entities

Date:
July 8, 2013
Source:
The JAMA Network Journals
Summary:
Patients who search on free health-related websites for information related to a medical condition may have the health information they provide leaked to third party tracking entities through code on those websites, according to new research.

Patients who search on free health-related websites for information related to a medical condition may have the health information they provide leaked to third party tracking entities through code on those websites, according to a research letter by Marco D. Huesch, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Between December 2012 and January 2013, using a sample of 20 popular health-related websites, Huesch used freely available privacy tools to detect third parties. Commercial interception software also was used to intercept hidden traffic from the researcher's computer to the websites of third parties.

Huesch found that all 20 sites had at least one third-party element, with the average being six or seven. Thirteen of the 20 websites had one or more tracking element. No tracking elements were found on physician-oriented sites closely tied to professional groups. Five of the 13 sites that had tracker elements had also enabled social media button tracking. Using the interception tool, searches were leaked to third-party tracking entities by seven websites. Search terms were not leaked to third-party tracking sites when done on U.S. government sites or four of the five physician-oriented sites, according to the study results.

"Failure to address these concerns may diminish trust in health-related websites and reduce the willingness of some people to access health-related information online," the study concludes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The JAMA Network Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M.D. Huesch. Privacy Threats When Seeking Online Health Information. JAMA Internal Medicine, 2013; DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.7795

Cite This Page:

The JAMA Network Journals. "Health-related website search information may be leaked to third-party tracking entities." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708170947.htm>.
The JAMA Network Journals. (2013, July 8). Health-related website search information may be leaked to third-party tracking entities. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708170947.htm
The JAMA Network Journals. "Health-related website search information may be leaked to third-party tracking entities." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708170947.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins