After a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order resolving the Commission’s complaint against Practice Fusion. In its complaint, the FTC charged that Practice Fusion misled consumers by soliciting reviews for doctors in connection with an online healthcare satisfaction survey, without disclosing adequately that these reviews would be publicly posted on the Internet. As a result, patients’ sensitive personal and medical information was publicly disclosed. The complaint alleges that Practice Fusion’s failure to adequately disclose this information violated the FTC Act.
The settlement was first announced in June 2016. The settlement prohibits Practice Fusion from making deceptive statements about the extent to which it uses, maintains, and protects the privacy or confidentiality of the information it collects, and also requires the company, prior to making any consumers’ information publicly available, to clearly and conspicuously disclose this fact and obtain consumers’ affirmative express consent. The settlement also prohibits Practice Fusion from publicly displaying the reviews it collected from consumers during the time period covered by the complaint.
The Commission vote to approve the final order and letter to a commenter was 3-0.