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Google defends amassing health data on millions of people

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines for Nov. 11 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com Google has come under scrutiny after a report in The Wall Street Journal noted that a newly signed cloud computing deal with a healthcare customer could give the tech giant "detailed personal-health information of millions of people across 21 states." The deal, which was previously announced on Google parent company Alphabet's July earnings call, is with St. Louis-based Ascension, a Catholic health system non-profit that says it is "committed to providing compassionate, personalized healthcare services" for individuals and communities. In a blog post published after The Journal report, Google's Tariq Shaukat defended the deal and shed additional light on it.


Google reveals 'Project Nightingale' after being accused of secretly gathering personal health records

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Google secretly gathered millions of patient records across 21 states on behalf of a health care provider, in an effort dubbed "Project Nightingale," reports The Wall Street Journal. Neither the provider's doctors nor patients were made aware of the effort, according to the report. The Wall Street Journal's Rob Copeland wrote that the data amassed in the program includes "lab results, doctor diagnoses and hospitalization records, among other categories, and amounts to a complete health history, complete with patient names and dates of birth," and that as many as 150 Google employees may have had access to the data. The New York Times corroborated much of the report later in the day, writing that "dozens of Google employees" may have access to sensitive patient data, and that there are concerns that some Google employees may have downloaded some of that data. But Google tells The Verge that despite the surprise, it's standard industry practice for a health care provider to share highly sensitive health records with tech workers under an agreement like the kind it signed -- one that narrowly allows Google to build tools for that health care provider by using the private medical data of its patients, and one that doesn't require patients to be notified, the company claims.


Google reveals 'Project Nightingale' after being accused of secretly gathering personal health records

#artificialintelligence

Google secretly gathered millions of patient records across 21 states on behalf of a health care provider, in an effort dubbed "Project Nightingale," reports The Wall Street Journal. Neither the provider's doctors nor patients were made aware of the effort, according to the report. The Wall Street Journal's Rob Copeland wrote that the data amassed in the program includes "lab results, doctor diagnoses and hospitalization records, among other categories, and amounts to a complete health history, complete with patient names and dates of birth," and that as many as 150 Google employees may have had access to the data. The New York Times corroborated much of the report later in the day, writing that "dozens of Google employees" may have access to sensitive patient data, and that there are concerns that some Google employees may have downloaded some of that data. But Google tells The Verge that despite the surprise, it's standard industry practice for a health care provider to share highly sensitive health records with tech workers under an agreement like the kind it signed -- one that narrowly allows Google to build tools for that health care provider by using the private medical data of its patients, and one that doesn't require patients to be notified, the company claims.


Google reportedly collects health data on millions of Americans without informing patients

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Google is collecting detailed health data on millions of Americans through a partnership with Ascension, the nation's second-largest health care system, according to a report Monday by The Wall Street Journal. The initiative, called Project Nightingale, collects information from people across 21 states, including data on lab results, diagnoses and hospitalization records, and also includes patient names and birthdates. The purpose of the project is reportedly to design health software that could home in on a patient's medical history. Patients and doctors haven't been informed of the Google partnership, and Ascension employees have raised concerns over the project, the Journal said. After the Journal report was published, Ascension issued a press release announcing the partnership.


Inside Google's Quest for Millions of Medical Records

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Cerner was interviewing Silicon Valley giants to pick a storage provider for 250 million health records, one of the largest collections of U.S. patient data. Google dispatched former chief executive Eric Schmidt to personally pitch Cerner over several phone calls and offered around $250 million in discounts and incentives, people familiar with the matter say. Google had a bigger goal in pushing for the deal than dollars and cents: a way to expand its effort to collect, analyze and aggregate health data on millions of Americans. Google representatives were vague in answering questions about how Cerner's data would be used, making the health-care company's executives wary, the people say. Eventually, Cerner struck a storage deal with Amazon.com The failed Cerner deal reveals an emerging challenge to Google's move into health care: gaining the trust of health care partners and the public.