Follow-up: FTC nails Practice Fusion with 20-year privacy practice order

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FTC nails Practice Fusion with 20-year privacy practice order

By Jessica Davis

Last week, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved a final order with EHR vendor Practice Fusion that will consent to a 20-year privacy practice order, stemming from its highly-publicized privacy scandal.

The settlement was first announced in June 2016, and after a 30-day comment period, the final order was unanimously approved, 3-0.

Practice Fusion was charged with soliciting reviews from patients and posting them online – without concealing personal identification information. According to the FTC, the patients in question were unaware their information would be disseminated online.

The FTC charged that although there was a privacy policy online, from 2012-2013 Practice Fusion didn’t warn patients their reviews would be publicly available.

Under the final agreement, Practice Fusion is prohibited from misrepresenting the extent of its use of any patient information, including the data it makes publicly available and the vendor cannot post any personal identifiable information of its patients online without the explicit consent of the patient.

Further, Practice Fusion is prohibited from commercially exploiting or publicizing review information – which was the cornerstone of the scandal. The FTC will be allowed access to company records and use any means to make sure Practice Fusion remains compliant.

Practice fusion will be liable for civil penalties up to $40,000 per violation of the final order, according to FTC Secretary Donald S. Clark.

The FTC’s order spans 20 years and, as such, terminates on August 15, 2036.

Read full article and learn more about Privacy Policies here.

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Disclaimer:  This article is provided for informational purposes only. It’s not legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is created. Neither the author nor FTC Guardian, Inc. is endorsed by the Federal Trade Commission.


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