According to Garlik, both the NHS and Facebook have gone out of their way over the last week to reassure everyone that the NHS's decision to share visitor's personal browsing habits and data via the ‘Like' button was acceptable and consistent with both organisations' published privacy policies.
However Garlik claimed that its analysis shows this is not the case and randomly selected pages from the LiveWell section of the NHS Choices site share data with Facebook, yet critically do not display the ‘Like' button. These pages include information on depression, mental health and sexual health.
The case was originally highlighted by Garlik's Mischa Tuffield, who on his personal blog revealed that the NHS is allowing the likes of Google and Facebook and other sites to track users' NHS browsing habits, regardless of the fact that people use the page to seek medical advice.
“I also talked about how there is a German website which changed the manner in which it implemented the ‘Like' button functionality in a non-intrusive manner. That is, a manner which does not send any information to Facebook unless the user actively clicks (i.e. opt-in) the ‘Like' button; quoting my blog post.”