Google’s AI department secures class action lawsuit over 1.6 million confidential NHS patient medical records


(Photo: Image from Unsplash website) Google’s AI department secures class action lawsuit over 1.6 million confidential NHS patient medical records

Google’s AI department, otherwise known as DeepMined, the Google-owned AI research firm, is the subject of a class action lawsuit. The lawsuit focuses on the company’s use of the personal records of a whopping 1.6 million UK National Service patients, including confidential medical records.

NHS Foundation Trust Health Data

DeepMind’s use of the personal records of a large number of patients from the UK’s National Health Service has led to legal action. The health data was reportedly provided by the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust in 2015 according to ArtificialIntelligence-News.

According to PCGamer, DeepMind received the recordings in order to create a health app that the company calls Streams. It was actually meant to be an AI powered assistant to help healthcare professionals and has been used by the UK NHS before, but not currently.

DeepMind healthcare sector

In August 2021, it was announced that Streams was now decommissioned. DeepMind’s “health” sector is now returning a server error, according to DeepMind. The handing over of these patient records to one of the world’s largest tech companies was actually revealed in 2017 by New Scientist.

In a certain report showing that particular DeepMind had access to more data that had in fact been publicly announced. The UK Information Commission has officially launched an investigation to find that the Royal Free Hospital has not really done enough to protect the privacy of its patients. DeepMind then apologized. The Apple Health team is now facing internal problems that prevent the official publication of the projects.

Investigating Gaps in Shared Patient Records

Elizabeth Denham, the Information Commissioner, noted at the time that their investigation actually revealed a number of other shortcomings in the way patient records were shared for the trial in question. Patients also note that they had a reasonable expectation that the particular information was used in that particular way.

The new lawsuit was reportedly initiated by Andrew Prismall, the principal plaintiff, who was a patient at the Royal Free Hospital. This includes around 1.6 million other affected patients on some opt-out basis. It was noted that all parties will be included in the particular action unless they request otherwise.

Read also: Google Chromebook brings accessibility functionality to people with dyslexia with “Select-to-Speak”

Tech Giant Obtains Confidential Medical Records

Prismall made a statement noting that given all the positive NHS experience he had always had during his various treatments, he was very concerned to find out that a certain tech giant had obtained his confidential medical records . It has been noted that as a patient receiving special medical treatment, the very last thing one would expect is that their private medical records fall into the hands of the world’s biggest tech companies.

He notes that he hopes the case will then help achieve a much better outcome and closure for all patients whose confidential records were actually obtained in this case, even without their knowledge or consent. 18 former NBA players have just been charged with attempted wire fraud on an alleged healthcare scam.

Associated article: Current acquisition of Best Buy in the healthcare sector: home as a healthcare center, soon to be remote solutions?

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Written by Urian B.

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