Google Has Its Eyes On Our Health and Banking Data — Project Nightingale and Project Cache

Friday, November 15, 2019
By Paul Martin

By Aaron Kesel
NOVEMBER 14, 2019

There has been serious backlash against Google for hoarding health data of 50 million Americans through Project Nightingale. The once social media giant is now shifting focus from just a search engine and video platform with its subsidiary YouTube, to a megalithic corporation seeking to monopolize our daily lives in not only health and technology but banking as well, CNBC reported.

Whistleblower: Google Wants To Enter Healthcare

Google is partnered with the second leading healthcare provider in the U.S., Ascension, and has access to the personal health information of millions of Americans across 21 states. The data acquired includes names, dates of birth, lab results, doctor diagnoses and hospitalization records on millions upon millions, according to the Wall Street Journal. The action has many worried — lawyers, doctors and tech experts have reacted with horror and fury to the fact Google had access to medical records without prior knowledge or consent.

The data comes after a whistleblower leaked the plan known as Project Nightingale, expressing outrage to the Guardian and a number of news media outlets.

Google and Ascension boasted that the scheme is completely legal. However, the ethics behind such a plan without the consent of those involved is in question. Neither doctors nor patients were informed that the data-gathering was taking place or given the chance to opt-out.

Google says the partnership is aimed at “improving patient outcomes and saving lives” and is compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) which controls the privacy of health data.

The act allows hospitals to share patients’ medical data with business partners on the condition that it is used to “help the entity carry out its healthcare functions.”

Google Cloud President Tariq Shaukat in a statement said, “by working in partnership with leading healthcare systems like Ascension, we hope to transform the delivery of healthcare through the power of the cloud, data analytics, machine learning, and modern productivity tools—ultimately improving outcomes, reducing costs, and saving lives.”

As part of its deal with Ascension, Google states the data can only be used for the purpose of providing healthcare at Ascension and will not be combined with consumer data. However, Google has a very spotty history for privacy holding just online fingerprints of someone.

Further, Google has a long standing history with the NSA since 2009 forming a “cooperative research and development agreement,” a legal pact that was originally devised under a 1980 law to speed up the commercial development of new technologies that are of mutual interest to companies and the government.

In 2015, the Huffington Post wrote an article “Why Google’s Spying on User Data Is Worse than the NSA’s” detailing various reasons why Google’s spying is a bigger problem then even intelligence agencies. Two years later, Google was caught personalizing Gmail ads based on its scanning of words in email messages.

The Rest…HERE

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