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.


Google's secret cache of medical data includes names and full details of millions – whistleblower

The Guardian

A whistleblower who works in Project Nightingale, the secret transfer of the personal medical data of up to 50 million Americans from one of the largest healthcare providers in the US to Google, has expressed anger to the Guardian that patients are being kept in the dark about the massive deal. The anonymous whistleblower has posted a video on the social media platform Daily Motion that contains a document dump of hundreds of images of confidential files relating to Project Nightingale. The secret scheme, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, involves the transfer to Google of healthcare data held by Ascension, the second largest healthcare provider in the US. The data is being transferred with full personal details including name and medical history and can be accessed by Google staff. Unlike other similar efforts it has not been made anonymous though a process of removing personal information known as de-identification.


Google's Secret Project Gathers Personal Health Data on Millions in U.S. Digital Trends

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Google is working alongside one of the nation's largest health care systems to collect and analyze the personal health information of Americans across 21 states, according to The Wall Street Journal. The joint effort with the St. Louis-based company Ascension reportedly began last year, but increased dramatically over the summer and fall of 2019. Code-named "Project Nightingale," the project collects data regarding patients' lab results, diagnoses from their doctors, and hospitalization records to create a complete health history for a patient -- including that patient's name and data of birth -- all without the consent of the patients or their doctors. Data has been shared for tens of millions of patients and can be accessed by at least 150 Google employees. While some Ascension employees have reportedly questioned the practice, privacy experts have suggested that the collection is permissible under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 which allows hospitals to share data with business partners without notifying patients.