Google has signed a health care data and cloud computing deal with Ascension, a move that gives the search-engine giant access to health-related information of millions of Americans, helping it refine potentially lucrative artificial intelligence tools.
Clayton-based Ascension is the nation’s second-biggest health care provider by number of hospitals, with facilities in 21 states and the District of Columbia.
The partnership, first reported by the Wall Street Journal on Monday, will also explore artificial intelligence and machine learning applications to help improve clinical effectiveness as well as patient safety, Ascension said in a statement.
Google and Ascension claim that their partnership complies with HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, but we doubt that’s true. There’s no way that Google — with its awful record of waging war on user privacy and gobbling up information for suspect purposes — can be trusted with the health records of millions of Americans.
People who have a relationship with Ascension should be outraged that the company did not get their permission before inking this deal with Google.
The federal and state governments should open an investigation into this arrangement immediately.
MORE FROM ARS TECHNICA…