Google 'Ascension' Project Being Investigated

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Google 'Ascension' Project Being Investigated.

Google now has access to detailed medical records on tens of millions of Americans, but the company promises it won't mix, that medical data with any of the other data Google collects on consumers who use its services.

Google 'Ascension' Project Being Investigated.

Google provided this statement yesterday shortly after The Wall Street Journal reported, that Google is partnering with Ascension, the country's second-largest health care system, "on a project to collect and crunch the detailed personal-health information of millions of people across 21 states."

"To be clear: under this arrangement, Ascension's data cannot be used for any other purpose than for providing these services we're offering under the agreement, and patient data cannot and will not be combined with any Google consumer data," Google said in a blog post.

That would mean Google won't use the medical data to target advertisements at users of Google services.

The Google/Ascension project is now being investigated by the Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Health and Human Services, the Wall Street Journal reported in an update last night.

The office said it "will seek to learn more information about this mass collection of individuals' medical records to ensure that HIPAA protections were fully implemented."

Google said it is "happy to cooperate with any questions about the project," and that "We believe Google’s work with Ascension adheres to industry-wide regulations (including HIPAA) regarding patient data, and comes with strict guidance on data privacy, security, and usage."

 

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