Google's 'Project Nightingale' quietly amasses healthcare data on millions of Americans

Yolanda Curtis
November 14, 2019

The news also caused the US Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Health and Human Services to launch an inquiry to make sure Google was obeying laws regarding keeping people's medical information private, according to the Wall Street Journal. Google also said patient data can not be mixed with its consumer data or used for purposes other than those offered under its deal with Ascension.

Back to Michigan; Ascension is the second-largest health system in the US which means that is quite a bit of data Google will be amassing. We have a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with Ascension, which governs access to Protected Health Information (PHI) for the objective of helping providers support patient care.

Within the submit Tuesday, Google launched particulars a few collaboration with U.S. total well being items non-financial acquire Ascension that includes relocating data and analytics to a private, safe cloud hosted by the world-wide-web firm. Although cloud storage is an enterprise with thinning profit margins, Google Cloud has mentioned it hopes to separate itself from bigger rivals Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services with a superior slate of excessive-margin AI tools. As aspect of the job, "Staffers across Alphabet Inc., Google's mum or dad, have entry to the affected individual data, interior files present", the Journal wrote.


Following the details going public, both Google and Ascension have released statements to the Wall Street Journal.

Curryland said that when Google collaborates with other companies on artificial intelligence research, the company has always removed personally identifiable information.

Google tried asking patients for their health data over a decade ago with Google Health, only to close up shop when patients balked at handing their records to the insatiable data-miner.


The Journal stated that "Neither medical doctors nor sufferers have been formally notified of the arrangement" and that Google and Ascension started the challenge "in secret past 12 months".

But Google's privacy guarantee should really signify that it won't incorporate any patient data from Ascension with the info it gathers from Fitbit, Wear OS, Google lookup, Gmail, Google Docs, Chrome, or any of the other client solutions it offers. Google could provide this software package to other wellness care institutions.

Google reported it is offering its normal G Suite productivity equipment to Ascension and that it can be performing custom made work for the company. There are also speculations that Google may eventually use the data for advertising. In 2017, Google partnered with the University of Chicago Medical Center to develop machine learning tools similar to the ones being developed under the Google-Ascension partnership. Why would they not tell doctors and us as patients of Ascension facilities?


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