How Google Is Stealing Your Personal Health Data

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Google, Amazon and Microsoft collect data entered into health and diagnostic sites, which is then shared with hundreds of third parties — and this data is not anonymized, meaning it’s tied specifically to you, without your knowledge or consent
  • Google, Amazon, Apple and the startup Xealth, are also data mining people’s personal electronic medical records to expand their businesses
  • In the wrong hands, your medical information can have real-world consequences, resulting in, for example, higher insurance premiums or denial of employment
  • Google is amassing health data from millions of Americans in 21 states through its Project Nightingale, and patients have not been informed of this data mining
  • The partnership that gives Google access to this medical data is covered by a “business associate agreement.” HIPAA allows hospitals and medical providers to share your information with third parties that support clinical activities, and according to Google’s interpretation of the privacy laws, it’s not in breach of these laws because it’s a “business associate”

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