Tech giant Google is reportedly engaged in collecting the personal health information of tens of millions of Americans across 21 countries — a project dubbed “Project Nightingale” — and have not been able to notified patients or physicians about what they are doing.
” Google began Project Nightingale in secret last year with St. Louis-based Ascension, a Catholic chain of 2,600 infirmaries, doctors’ roles and other facilities, with the data sharing accelerating since summer ,” according to internal records acquired alone by The Wall Street Journal.” The data involved in the initiative encompasses lab results, physician diagnoses and hospitalization records, amongst other categories, and amounts to a complete health history, including patient names and dates of birth .”
” Neither patients nor doctors have been notified ,” The Journal added.” At least 150 Google employees already providing access to much of the data on tens of millions of patients, according to a person familiar with the matter and the documents .”
Google teamed up with Ascension, a Catholic chain of 2,600 infirmaries spread out over 21 governments and in the District of Columbia, and other doctors roles launch development projects last year.
Forbes reports that the project” involves Ascension moving patient records onto Google’s cloud servers and includes a investigation product that allows Ascension healthcare providers to see an’ overview page’ about their patients. The page includes complete patient info as well as tones about patient medical issues, test results and medications, including information from searched records, according to presentations viewed by Forbes .”
” A informant familiar with the project was indicated that patients are not aware of Google’s access to their data, though patient privacy constitutions generally let the sharing of patient data with third parties without notification if it is for purposes that’ help it carry out its health care activities and functions, ‘” Forbes added.” Ascension employees have raised concerns internally, according to documents, about patient data privacy .”
The Journal and Forbes both reported that it showed as though Google’s acts were not in violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996( HIPAA ).
The New York Times reported over the summer that Google has been accused of inappropriate access to massive amounts of health care records through the University of Chicago Medical Center.
On June 26, The Times reported,” The University of Chicago, the medical centre and Google were sued in a potential class-action suit accusing the hospital of sharing hundreds of thousands of patients’ records with the technology giant without deprive identifiable date stamps or doctor’s mentions .”
” The deal with the University of Chicago medical centre transgressed patient privacy, the lawsuit claims, because those records also included date stamps of when patients checked in and checked out of research hospitals ,” The Times added.” The records included patient demographics, diagnosings, procedures, medication and other data. The article states that the records were’ de-identified ,’ except that’ dates of services that are were maintained .’ The paper also noticed … … that the University of Chicago had ‘ free-text medical notes’ “thats been” de-identified .”
Late last year, Google was fined $ 170 million by the Federal Trade Commission( FTC) in a village following the FTC’s investigation into charges that Google was contravening offspring privacy laws.
” Google LLC and its subsidiary YouTube, LLC will pay a record $ 170 million to settle allegations by the Federal Trade Commission and the New York Attorney General that the YouTube video sharing service illegally accumulated personal details from children without their parents’ consent ,” The FTC said in a statement.” The agreement requires Google and YouTube to pay $ 136 million to the FTC and $34 million to New York for allegedly infringing the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act( COPPA) Rule. The $136 million retribution is by far the largest amount the FTC has ever obtained in a COPPA case since Congress legislated the law in 1998.”
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