November 20, 2019
Bipartisan Inquiry from Senators Warren, Blumenthal and Cassidy Asks Google to Explain How and Why It Secretly Collected Health Data on Millions of Americans Without Their Consent
Washington, DC – Following alarming reports of Google’s efforts to obtain the health records of millions of Americans without their awareness or consent, United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-C.T.), and Bill Cassidy (R-L.A.) sent a bipartisan letter to Google demanding answers to the serious questions and concerns raised by “Project Nightingale.”
“We write with concern over reports that Ascension has entered into a partnership that provides Google with the health records of tens of millions of Americans without their awareness or consent,” the senators wrote. “Health information and records of medical care are exceptionally sensitive information that, when mishandled, expose patients to embarrassment, discrimination, exploitation, and other harms. Based on prior privacy violations and security failures from the company, we have substantial concerns about how Google will handle patient data and use health records for other purposes.”
Google’s “Project Nightingale” allowed the company access to the personal health data to as many as 50 million or more patients – all reportedly provided without their knowledge or the ability to opt-out of the data sharing.
In today’s letter, Blumenthal, Warren, and Cassidy demanded Google provide substantive responses to how such a vast amount of private, personal health data was surreptitiously collected, and how Google plans to use it and keep it secure.
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