Four users of Costco’s pharmacy webpages are accusing the retailer of sharing their sensitive information.
A lawsuit filed in Washington Western District Court alleges that Costco Wholesale Corp. shared website users’ private communications and health information with Facebook parent Meta, without their consent.
According to the lawsuit, the Issaquah, Wash.-based wholesale club used Meta Pixel, a third-party tracking database, in the health care portion of its website to “surreptitiously disclose millions of Americans’ private and protected communications, including their highly personal health information,” without customer consent.
"Costco represents to patients that its website, which includes its pharmacy webpages, is a secure platform," said the suit, which is seeking class-action status. "Yet Costco fails to disclose or omits the fact that it shares patient online activities and personal health information with Meta via Pixel."
Consequently, the complaint noted, "Meta, and potentially other third parties, obtained access to and collected confidential patient data without the patients’ authorization, resulting in a significant invasion of patient privacy and disclosure of sensitive data."
Costco has not responded to Progressive Grocer’s request for comment at press time.
The complaint lists four California residents who used Costco’s pharmacy website. After uploading private health care information, including prescriptions, treatments, health insurance coverage and patient location, some plaintiffs said that they received targeted ads relating to the private medical information disclosed to the retailer.
The defendants are requesting a trial by jury, as well as an award of damages determined at trial or by the court.