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Lawsuit Alleges Privacy Violations

Google and the University of Chicago, which have partnered to analyze patient data to improve predictive medicine, are being sued in a potential class-action lawsuit that alleges that the hospital shared patient records with the internet giant without stripping them of identifying information, the New York Times reports.

According to the Verge, Google and the University of Chicago Medical Center teamed up in 2017 to provide Google access to patient records from between 2006 and 2016 to help it build AI tools for predictive medicine. But the lawsuit, which is being brought by on behalf of Matt Dinerstein, who was a patient at the medical center twice in 2015, alleges that Google received data it shouldn't have, including when patients were admitted and discharged from the hospital, which the Verge says could violate federal health data privacy regulations and which, when combined with cell phone data, could enable patients' identification. The lawsuit further alleges, according to the Verge, that the University of Chicago did not notify patients or receive their consent to give their medical records to Google.

The University of Chicago tells the Times that the claims are "without merit" and a Google spokesperson says the company followed Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act guidelines.