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UK watchdog has eyes on Google-DeepMind’s health app hand-off – TechCrunch

The surprise information the day gone by that Google is taking over a health app rolled out to UK hospitals during the last few years through its AI department, DeepMind, has stuck the attention of the rustic’s information coverage watchdog — which stated nowadays that it’s tracking trends.

An ICO spokesperson advised us: “An ICO investigation and an impartial audit into the usage of Google Deepmind’s Streams provider through the Royal Free each highlighted the significance of transparent and efficient governance when NHS our bodies use 3rd events to supply virtual services and products, specifically to verify the unique goal for processing non-public information is revered.

“We expect all the measures set out in our undertaking, and in the audit, should remain in place even if the identity of the third party changes. We are continuing to monitor the situation.”

We’ve reached out to DeepMind and Google for a reaction.

The venture is already widely known to the ICO as a result of, following a long investigation, it dominated final year that the NHS Trust which partnered with DeepMind had damaged UK regulation through passing 1.6 million+ sufferers’ scientific information to the Google owned corporate all over the app’s building.

The Trust agreed to make adjustments to the way it works with DeepMind, with the ICO pronouncing it had to determine “a proper legal basis” for the data-sharing, in addition to percentage extra details about the way it handles sufferers’ privateness.

It additionally needed to post to an exterior audit — which used to be performed through Linklaters. Though — as we reported in June — this most effective regarded on the current operating of the Streams app.

The auditors didn’t deal with the core factor of affected person information being handed and not using a criminal foundation when the app used to be under development. And the ICO didn’t sound too satisfied about that both.

While regulatory actions kicked off in spring 2016, the sanctions got here after Streams had already been rolled out to health facility wards — beginning with the Royal Free NHS Trust’s personal hospitals.

DeepMind additionally inked further five-year Streams offers with a handful of alternative Trusts before the ICO’s intervention, including Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Taunton & Somerset.

Those Trusts at the moment are going through being switched to having Google as their 3rd birthday party app supplier.

Until the day gone by DeepMind had maintained it operates autonomously from Google, with founder Mustafa Suleyman writing in 2016 that: “We’ve been transparent from the outset that at no degree will affected person information ever be related or related to Google accounts, merchandise or services and products.”

Two years on and, of their newest Medium weblog, the DeepMind co-founders write about how excited they’re that the info goes to Google.

Patients would possibly have fairly extra blended emotions, for the reason that most of the people have by no means been consulted about any of this.

The loss of a criminal foundation for DeepMind acquiring affected person information to expand Streams within the first position remains unresolved. And Google changing into the brand new information processor for Streams most effective raises recent questions on data governance — and believe.

Meanwhile the ICO has no longer but given a final view on Streams’ persisted information processing — nevertheless it’s nonetheless staring at.

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