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‘Project Nightingale’ of Google Confronts a Federal Inquiry in the US

Meanwhile, in a blog post, Google tried to clarify its partnership with Ascension

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As part of "Project Nightingale", Ascension uploaded patient data to Cloud servers of Google. Pixabay

Partnership with US healthcare organisation Ascension of Google over health data collection of millions of Americans through its “Project Nightingale” has triggered a federal probe, the media reported on Wednesday.

The Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Health and Human Services in the US is launching an inquiry into “Project Nightingale”, reports CNN Business.

The Office for Civil Rights “will seek to learn more information about this mass collection of individuals’ medical records to ensure that [the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 or HIPAA] protections were fully implemented”, office director Roger Severino was quoted as saying.

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that “Google is engaged with one of the US’s largest health-care systems on a project to collect and crunch the detailed personal-health information of millions of people across 21 states” and at least 150 Google staffers may have access to the data.

The St. Louis-based healthcare organisation Ascension is allegedly sharing details such as lab results, diagnoses and hospitalisation records — as well as health histories complete with patient names and dates of birth — with the tech giant.

As part of “Project Nightingale”, Ascension uploaded patient data to Google’s Cloud servers.

Meanwhile, in a blog post, Google tried to clarify its partnership with Ascension.

Google
Partnership with US healthcare organisation Ascension of Google over health data collection of millions of Americans through its “Project Nightingale” has triggered a federal probe. Pixabay

“All of Google’s work with Ascension adheres to industry-wide regulations regarding patient data, and come with strict guidance on data privacy, security and usage,” said Tariq Shaukat, President, Industry Products and Solutions, Google Cloud.

Ascension also issued a statement, saying it is working with Google to optimise the health and wellness of individuals and communities, and deliver a comprehensive portfolio of digital capabilities that enhance the experience of Ascension consumers, patients and clinical providers across the continuum of care.

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According to Google, some of the solutions it is working on with Ascension are not yet in active clinical deployment, but rather are in early testing. (IANS)

 

Next Story

US Government Begins Probe into Google Over its Labour Practices

"Four of our colleagues took a stand and organised for a better workplace. This is explicitly condoned in Google's Code of Conduct, which ends: 'And remember... don't be evil, and if you see something that you think isn't right -- speak up.' When they did, Google retaliated against them," the employee activist group wrote in the blog post

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Google Search Engine
Google Logo. Pixabay

The US government has launched a probe into Google over its labour practices following a complaint from four employees who have been fired by the tech giant.

The four workers who filed a lawsuit against the company last week, claimed they were fired from Google for engaging in legally protected labour organizing, reports CNN Business.

The National Labor Relations Board has begun a formal probe into the complaint.

The tech giant has been accused of “union busting” and retaliatory behaviour after it sacked four employees for allegedly violating the company’s data security policies.

In a statement, Google said it dismissed four individuals who were engaged in intentional and often repeated violations of its longstanding data security policies.

Google
US begins probe into Google’s labour practices. Pixabay

“No one has been dismissed for raising concerns or debating the company’s activities,” said the company on Monday.

Google is in the midst of controversy over its strained relationship with employees.

In an earlier blog post on Medium, an employee activist group, “Google Walkout for Real Change”, said that the company is illegally retaliating against prospective union organisers.

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“Four of our colleagues took a stand and organised for a better workplace. This is explicitly condoned in Google’s Code of Conduct, which ends: ‘And remember… don’t be evil, and if you see something that you think isn’t right — speak up.’ When they did, Google retaliated against them,” the employee activist group wrote in the blog post.

The new CEO of Alphabet Sundar Pichai faces extreme challenges as Google stares at several high-profile external probes into its alleged anti-trust market and data practices — from the US to the European Union regulators — including internal tensions with staff over discrimination at work and HR transparency. (IANS)