According to recently released documents, Google collected personal healthcare of millions without telling them or their doctors.
Google has been collecting the personal healthcare information of millions of Americans in a previously unknown scheme called Project Nightingale.
The technology giant teamed up with Ascension, the second largest healthcare provider in the United States, and has been gathering the data of patients in 21 states since last year.
It appeared to be the most aggressive move yet by a technology company to move into the healthcare industry, raising privacy concerns about how the data would be handled.
Patients and doctors were not told their data was being passed on, and at least 150 Google employees have access to it, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The information reportedly included patients’ names, addresses, dates of birth, medical diagnoses, lab results, medications prescribed, and hospitalisation records.
What appeared to be a large cache of documents relating to the project was anonymously posted on the internet.
The person who published them said: “Google is secretly transferring data to its own servers without patient knowledge or consent.”
Both Google and Ascension said the project did not breach America’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act [HIPAA], which protects medical data.
It affected over 2600 medical facilities.
In a statement Ascension said: “All work related to Ascension’s engagement with Google is HIPAA compliant and underpinned by a robust data security and protection effort.”
Ascension, based in St Louis, is a Catholic, non-profit network of 2,600 medical facilities including 150 hospitals.
In recent days Google also announced it was buying Fitbit for $2.1 billion.
Remember when Google was a search engine? Why exactly are they worried about the health records of millions of Americans?
If this was something that was on the up and up then why go through so many hoops to bury it?
Aren’t we happy that the establishment in both parties are too scared to take on Google?
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