The tech giant Google has collected without permission medical data from tens of millions of Americans, as reported exclusively by The Wall Street Journal , which cited internal documents and sources with knowledge of the matter.
The data collection is part of a Google initiative named Project Nightingale ( Project Nightingale , in Spanish) and, through which, Google accesses the information of patients of the medical company Ascension , the largest Catholic firm of that type and that has its headquarters in San Luis (Missouri).
The agreement was secretly signed last year, although the exchange of data between Google and Ascension accelerated this summer , according to internal documents accessed by The Wall Street Jornal .
Through that pact, Google allegedly has access to the personal data of tens of millions of Americans residing in 21 of the 50 US states.
Among the data collected by Google, there are medical diagnoses , laboratory test results and hospitalization records , among other reports, which is equivalent to a complete medical history, which includes the names of the patients and the dates of birth, detailed the New York newspaper.
Neither patients nor doctors were notified of the data exchange between Google and Ascension, according to The Wall Street Journal , which said that at least 150 employees of the technology company have already had access to the data of hundreds of millions of patients.
According to the newspaper, the contract between Google and Ascension is framed by Silicon Valley's growing appetite for data analysis in the medical industry , a business path that Amazon and Microsoft are also exploring, although those companies have not yet achieved a Google's reach agreement.
In this case, Google is supposedly using the data, in part, to design new software , which backed by artificial intelligence and machine learning systems, may suggest changes in the treatment of patients.
In a statement, sent to The Wall Street Journal, Google defended that its project complies with federal laws on the protection of medical data.
The company's goal is "ultimately to improve results, reduce costs and save lives," said Google Cloud President Tariq Shaukat in the press release.
Google and other technology companies have been subject during the last days of harsh criticism and investigations by regulators precisely because of the large volume of data of the users they manage and their privacy management, so this new project could lead to new scrutiny
According to the criteria of The Trust ProjectKnow more
Technology When AOL commanded: this is how pages with more visits have evolved since 1996
Google Technology is interested in buying Fitbit
Privacy 93% of porn pages sell your data to third parties