The US Department of Health and Social Affairs has launched an investigation into Google’s collection of medical data, according to The Wall Street Journal. The ministry will check whether privacy regulations are being complied with.
The investigation is being conducted by the Office for Civil Rights, part of the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, according to the WSJ. The department will check whether Google complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act with its Project Nightingale. That law should guarantee the protection of Americans’ medical data, but also makes it possible for hospitals to share data with business partners without patients being aware of it. This is only allowed if the shared information is used to improve the performance of health tasks.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Google is collecting medical data from millions of Americans without their knowledge. Google does this through a partnership with Ascension, an organization that manages 2,600 hospitals, medical posts and other facilities.
In response to the business paper’s article, Google posted an article online detailing its partnership with Ascension. It would be a collaboration to improve Google’s cloud services related to healthcare and the search giant says it complies with relevant regulations, including the HIPAA.