Google’s ongoing quest for your health data isn’t going over smoothly with lawmakers.
One day after the Wall Street Journal revealed “Project Nightingale,” Google’s project to gather and “crunch” millions of people’s health data through a deal with healthcare company Ascension, Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota, said the project raises “privacy concerns” in a statement published by CNBC.
The deal is just one piece of Big Tech’s increasing push into healthcare. Google recently announced that it’s buying Fitbit, maker of step trackers and smartwatches, Apple has also waded into healthcare with its own smartwatch and research projects, and Amazon has been working to upend how people get their medication.
“This collaboration isn’t the only one that raises serious privacy concerns,” Klobuchar said in the statement. “New technologies have made it easier for people to monitor their own health, but health tracking apps, wearable technology devices like Fitbits, and home DNA testing kits have also given companies access to your private health data with very few rules of the road in place regulating how it is collected and used.”
The senator and 2020 presidential candidate used the opportunity to promote the Protecting Personal Health Data Act, which she introduced with Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska. According to Klobuchar, the legislation “would require the Department of Health and Human Services to work with the Federal Trade Commission and issue meaningful regulations that protect private health data not covered under existing privacy law.”
Google recently published an extensive Q&A post that offers more information on its partnership with Ascension.