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Google's & # 39; Project Nightingale & # 39; Center for Federal Investigations



The Department of Citizenship of the Ministry of Health opened the investigation Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Office will endeavor to obtain further information about this mass collection of personal medical records to ensure that [the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 or HIPAA] safeguards have been fully implemented, "Office Director Roger Severino said in a statement for publication.

The Ministry for Health and Human Services did not respond to CNN Business's request for comment.

This was through a new partnership between Google (19459005) and Ascension, one of the nation's largest charitable and Catholic health systems. that they work together to analyze patient data and provide service providers with new insights and suggestions for patient care The Wall Street Journal first reported on the project on Monday.
  Google collects health data from millions of Americans.
The partnership between Google and Ascension will integrate the different areas of Ascension health data into the cloud. Google said in a blog post on Monday that the project was a "Business Agreement to help a vendor with the latest technology, similar to the work we do with dozens of other healthcare providers."

The Journal reported that at least 150 Google employees had access to patient information, but Google said it adheres to legal standards such as HIPAA. According to Google, "Ascension's data may not be used for any purpose other than to provide these services we provide under the agreement, and patient data can not and will not be combined with Google consumer information."

Shortly after the Journal's report, both companies published statements.

Google has recognized the sensitive nature of patient health data. Headquartered in St. Louis, Ascension has 2,600 facilities in approximately two dozen states. The partnership with Google complied with the law. However, the Journal reported that some Ascension employees questioned how Google passes and collects patient data.

This is not the first time that Google has been reviewed for handling user data.

Google paid the Federal Trade Commission a fine of $ 170 million to settle allegations that YouTube violated the law by knowingly tracking and selling ads for children.
Google's push into health care goes to the growing interest of technology companies such as Apple ( AAPL ) Amazon ( AMZN ) and Microsoft ( MSFT ) . All three companies have launched initiatives to modernize the US healthcare system in recent years.

Rachel Metz and Jordan Valinsky of CNN contributed to this report.


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