Google’s Project Nightingale Collects Health Data on Millions of Americans

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Teaming up with Ascension, the second-biggest health system in the United States, Google’s Project Nightingale aims to collect health data from millions of Americans, without telling patients or doctors (via WSJ).

Project Nightingale

The data included in Project Nightingale includes:

  • Lab results
  • Doctor diagnoses
  • Hospitalization records
  • Birth dates
  • Patient names

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) says that hospitals can share data with business partners without telling patients as long as the information is used “only to help the covered entity carry out its health-care functions.”

Google has no health care functions. Instead it wants this health data to design software and use machine learning to suggest changes to individuals’ health care. Currently at least 150 Google employees have access to this data, already reaching into the tens of millions of patients.

Further Reading:

[If Your YouTube Account Isn’t ‘Commercially Viable’ Google Will Delete It]

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W. Abdullah Brooks, MD

Andrew: This is why we need to change our current legislative and regulatory paradigm. It is less about so-called ‘big tech’ than it is specifically about the aptly named ‘surveillance capitalism’ industry, whose internal engine is AI and whose fuel is our data, and whose outcome has metastasised beyond a simple product, namely the delivery of the consumer to the point of sales, to a larger cancer of unchecked expansion into as yet untapped speculation, not unlike real estate speculation of old, in which investors make a land grab in the educated speculation that such real property will have tremendous… Read more »