William McGeveran
Lathrop GPM Professor of Law

NPR Asks Prof. McGeveran About Location-Based Ads in Health Clinics

Professor William McGeveran, an expert on privacy law, was featured in a story on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered about location-based advertising that targets patients as they sit in health care facilities. Using a technique called geofencing, marketers can sense the whereabouts of your smart phone and transmit tailored messages through internet browsers and apps. Anti-abortion groups have solicited visitors to women’s health clinics through geofencing, and attorneys have advertised their services to emergency room patients. McGeveran explained that, while most people consider health information especially sensitive, the main federal health care privacy law, HIPAA, “applies to hospitals and clinics and doctors and insurance companies, not to these lawyers and the marketers working on their behalf.”