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Personal Injury Law Firms Are Using Your Location to Send Targeted Ads When You Visit the ER

The Infinite Brief
Personal injury law firms are looking for business by casting mobile online ads at emergency room patients.

The technology behind the ads, known as geofencing, or placing a digital perimeter around a specific location, has been deployed by retailers for years to offer coupons and special offers to customers as they shop. Bringing it into health care spaces, however, is raising alarm among privacy experts.

“It’s really, I think, the closest thing an attorney can do to putting a digital kiosk inside of an emergency room,” says digital marketer Bill Kakis, who runs the Long Island, N.Y.-based firm Tell All Digital.

The advertisers identify someone’s location by grabbing what is known as “phone ID” from Wi-Fi, cell data or an app using GPS.

Once someone crosses the digital fence, Kakis says, the ads can show up for more than a month — and on multiple devices.

Originally via NPR

Patients sitting in emergency rooms, at chiropractors’ offices and at pain clinics in the Philadelphia area may start noticing on their phones the kind of messages typically seen along highway billboards and public transit: personal injury law firms looking for business by casting mobile online ads at patients.

See the original article at https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/05/25/613127311/digital-ambulance-chasers-law-firms-send-ads-to-patients-phones-inside-ers

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