Google and DeepMind face lawsuit over free access to royal NHS data

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  • Google and DeepMind face legal action over access to millions of UK patient records in 2015.
  • DeepMind gained access to 1.6 million patient data under a deal with Royal Free deemed to have broken UK law.
  • A UK law firm has said it is planning legal action on behalf of a patient from Royal Free and others.

Google and its AI-driven subsidiary DeepMind face the prospect of a legal battle over access to the medical records of UK patients.

In 2016, a New scientific investigation revealed that DeepMind had won extended access to 1.6 million patient data as part of a deal with the Royal Free NHS Trust of London in 2015. The revelation raised concerns that a US tech giant could use confidential patient data for profit.

In 2017, the UK data regulator ruled that the Royal Free NHS Trust had violated UK law with the deal and said patients were not properly informed. The decision did not directly criticize Google or DeepMind.

The pre-empted controversy Google takes control of DeepMind’s applied health operations, and the permanent shutdown of its clinical application Streams, which ran on patient data from the National Health Service.

On Thursday, London law firm Mishcon de Reya announced plans to take legal action against Google, in a bid to address “very real public concerns about large-scale access to private health data and their use by technology companies “.

In A press release Posted on the law firm’s website, Mishcon de Reya said the complaint was filed on behalf of Andrew Prismall, a Royal Free patient who said he was “very concerned to find out that a tech giant ended up with my confidential medical records. “

“As a patient receiving medical treatment, the last thing you would expect is your private medical records to be in the hands of one of the biggest tech companies in the world,” he said in a statement. .

“I hope this case will help achieve a fair outcome and closure for all patients whose confidential records were obtained in this case without their knowledge or consent.”

A spokeswoman for Mishcon de Reya said the lawsuit was taken to the High Court. Insider understands that Google has yet to be served.

Google and DeepMind declined to comment.

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