Privacy Matters: Facebook’s Preventive Health Tool

By Erin Egan, VP and Chief Privacy Officer, Public Policy

We created Facebook’s Preventive Health tool to connect you to health resources and checkup reminders, making it easier to take control of your health. Because we know health data is particularly personal, we took extra steps to protect your privacy and collect a limited amount of information necessary to make the tool function and improve it over time.

Who sees my information and activity?

Your activity within Preventive Health will not be posted publicly or shared with others. Information you provide is securely stored and access is restricted to a group of people at Facebook who work on the product or maintain our systems. We don’t share personal information about your activity in Preventive Health with third parties, such as health organizations or insurance companies, so it can’t be used for purposes like insurance eligibility. 

What choices and controls do I have?

You can decide whether you want to use the Preventive Health tool. The tool will give you options to set reminders for your future checkups and mark them as done, but it will not give us access to your actual test results. If you choose, you can share the tool with your friends or family through Messenger or News Feed to encourage them to try it, but doing so will not share your activity within the tool.

If you have Location Services turned on, we can use that information to show you Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) in your area. If not, we default to showing a location based on your current city. You can control whether your device shares precise location information with Facebook Products via Location Services, a setting on your mobile device. 

How does this impact data collection and the ads I see?

Preventive Health uses your age and sex to suggest checkups recommended by health organizations. Your age and sex is based on your Facebook profile by default, but you can change these in the Preventive Health tool.

To help you keep track of your checkups, we collect information you provide, such as when you set reminders or mark a screening as done. We also log more general activity, like frequency of clicks for a specific button, which allows us to understand how the tool is being used, in order to improve it over time. 

We don’t show ads based on the information you provide in Preventive Health — that includes things like setting a reminder for a test, marking it as done or searching for a healthcare location. As always, other actions that you take on Facebook could inform the ads you see, for example, liking the Facebook page of a health organization or visiting an external website linked to from Preventive Health.

To help personalize content, tailor and measure ads, and provide a safer experience, we use cookies. By clicking or navigating the site, you agree to allow our collection of information on and off Facebook through cookies. Learn more, including about available controls: Cookie Policy