The Guardian view on Google’s NHS grab: legally inappropriate
The company that wants to organise the world’s data needs to respect its users’ privacy, especially if they are patients in the NHS. DeepMind’s cavalier approach needs to be penalised and admonished.
That the Google-owned artificial intelligence company DeepMind obtained the personal medical records of 1.6 million patients on a “legally inappropriate” basis is unnerving. The complacency of both the NHS in north London and Google in the face of basic principles of privacy is remarkable. Why weren’t alarm bells ringing? The reason is the overwhelming asymmetry between a wealthy, technologically supercilious firm and overstretched public services in possession of our most sensitive, identifiable data.
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