Big Tech can’t seem to go one month without becoming involved in some new data privacy scandal, but this time, Google parent Alphabet has outdone itself.
Yesterday, WSJ broke a story about a deal between Alphabet and Ascension Health System, a Catholic non-profit that operates hospitals and nursing homes in 21 states and Washington DC. Ascension has more than 2,600 facilities, but its data – including critical patient data – is presently spread across 40 data centers in more than a dozen states.
But thanks to a deal between the two organizations that spawned Google’s “Project Nightingale”, all of that data are being moved into Google’s cloud, and Google engineers are working on a system that they say could revolutionize how doctors use patient health data to make diagnoses.
The only problem, is some regulators have expressed concerns that the patient data aren’t being properly protected, or that Google might illegally use the data to hone its ad micro-targeting. The sensitive health data of millions of Americans would be quite a score.
And there’s reason to be suspicious: Without notifying patients or doctors, Ascension recently started sharing personally identifiable information on millions of patients with Google. The data include: patients’ names and dates of birth; lab tests; doctor diagnoses; medication and hospitalization history; and some billing claims and other clinical records. – READ MORE