Square, Inc. is the defendant in a lawsuit wherein a consumer claims the point-of-sale payment processing company mishandled his private medical information despite its promise to safeguard the data of customers.
The lawsuit explains that when the defendant processes a payment, an electronic invoice is usually sent to the cardholder or authorized user of the credit card via text message or email. The proposed class action states, however, that when the plaintiff paid for medical services using Square, he came to find out that his invoice was sent via text message and website to his friend. The man claims that he has no idea how his friend’s contact information became associated with his credit card, and never consented to having his medical information shared.
“The text message was not secure, and the website is accessible to anyone,” the complaint reads. “Put simply, Square does absolutely nothing to secure this electronic communication of [personal health information], or to get a person’s consent to send this information in the first place.”
As the suit tells it, the plaintiff’s experience is the result of Square’s “lack of any appreciable security measures” to protect proposed class members’ medical information from disclosure to third parties. In fact, the suit says, it is relatively common for Square’s automatic receipts to be sent to the wrong phone number or email address, an error that may stem from an input mistake by the seller or purchaser, confusion among a group splitting a payment, or the user wanting his or her receipt sent to someone else.
The plaintiff scathes that Square “does not even take the most basic steps” to ensure customers’ medical information is safeguarded and disclosed exclusively to an authorized party. Square, the lawsuit alleges, neither confirms a patient’s email address or phone number nor seeks their authorization before sending medical-related automatic invoices.
The 24-page case looks to cover a class of individuals whose personal and medical information has been compromised due to “Square’s negligent approach to medical billing.” The suit was initially filed in superior court on May 14 and now resides in the California’s Southern District.