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Google almost exposed personal information for 30,000 patients: report

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | November 19, 2019
Cyber Security Health IT

The company is also under scrutiny for a $2.1 billion deal to acquire Fitbit, due to concerns over antitrust and privacy violations. It is currently waiting for regulatory approval.

“Why should Google be permitted to acquire even more companies while they’re under DOJ antitrust investigation?” tweeted Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) after the deal was announced this month, with Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-R.I.), the chairman of a House committee on antitrust issues, requesting “an immediate and thorough investigation” of the acquisition, according to The Post.

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The X-rays scanned by the NIH belong mostly to patients with lung disease, says the emails.

The NIH has broad authority to share medical data with outside “consultants” for research purposes and specifies this in waivers collected from patients. It is unknown if Google would be considered a consultant under the policy. Cohen maintains that the project was in line with The Privacy Act and that "no personally identifiable information (PII) has been released," due to staff "rigorously reviewing" data to ensure the removal of PII.

Google did not respond for comment.

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