Google and DeepMind face lawsuit over deal with Britain’s National Health Service

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  • DeepMind found itself in the limelight in 2016 when New Scientist reported that its collaboration with the UK’s National Health Service went beyond what was publicly announced.
  • British law firm Mischcon de Rea told Businesshala on Friday that it filed the claim in the High Court on behalf of Andrew Prismall and about 1.6 million other individuals whose medical records were obtained by DeepMind.
  • DeepMind and the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust signed an agreement in 2015 that gave DeepMind access to pseudonymous patient data.

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LONDON – Alphabet’s Google and sister firm DeepMind are facing legal action in the UK for how they obtained and processed more than one million patient health records without consent.

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British law firm Mischcon de Rea told Businesshala on Friday it has filed a claim in the High Court Andrew Prismall and approximately 1.6 million others Whose medical records were obtained by DeepMind as part of an effort to develop a patient monitoring app called Streams.

“As a patient with any type of medical treatment, the last thing you would expect is that your personal medical records would be in the hands of one of the largest technology companies in the world,” said Prismall, who is at the hospital. One patient was where the Streams app was developed, in a statement.

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“I hope this case will help in achieving and closing a fair outcome for all patients whose confidential records were obtained in this case without their knowledge or consent,” he said.

When contacted by Businesshala, DeepMind declined to comment, while Google did not immediately respond.

secret deal

London’s artificial intelligence lab DeepMind, which was acquired by Google in 2014, found itself in the limelight in 2016 when New Scientist told that its collaboration with the UK’s National Health Service went beyond what was publicly announced.

DeepMind and the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust signed an agreement in 2015 that gave DeepMind access to pseudonymous patient data.

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) ruled in 2017 that the data-sharing agreement between DeepMind and the NHS failed to comply with data protection law.

“Our investigation found several deficiencies in the way patient records were shared for this trial,” Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said in a statement at the time. “Patients would not have reasonably expected that their information would be used in this way.”

However, a subsequent audit of the data-sharing agreement by law firm LinkLaters concluded that Royal Free London’s use of the stream was legitimate and complied with data protection laws.

Mishcon partner Ben Lesserson said in a statement that the planned lawsuit should help “answer fundamental questions about the handling of sensitive personal data.”

He added that “this comes at a time of heightened public interest and understandable concern over who has access to people’s personal data and medical records and how this access is managed.”

Another controversial data-sharing agreement

Elsewhere, the NHS was also criticized for signing a data-sharing agreement with US company Palantir last year. The data analytics firm was co-founded by tech billionaire Peter Thiel, who was an early investor in DeepMind.

Privacy campaigners and human rights activists cited ethical and ethical concerns when they launched a campaign in June to try to block Palantir from working with the NHS. Since its inception, the publicly listed company has worked with spy agencies, border forces and armies, with the finer details of contracts often kept private.

Clive Lewis, a member of the UK Parliament of Labor and one of the campaign’s supporters, accused Palantir of having a “horrendous track record”. Palantir declined to respond to these comments.

Following the “No Palantir in our NHS” campaign, Palantir partnered with the NHS on a COVID-19 “data store”, designed to help government and healthcare use the data to monitor the spread of the virus. it was done.

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