A secret Google venture called “Project Nightingale” is collecting and cataloging the healthcare records of millions of American citizens, storing not just basic medical records but also personal details such as patient names and birthdays.
The tech giant is partnering with Ascension, the No. 2 health care system in the country. The Catholic hospital system is based out of St. Louis, Missouri, although it has facilities in 23 states, as well as Washington, D.C.
Neither patients nor doctors have been notified of the data collection, and hundreds of Google employees have access to the information on tens of millions of patients, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The data will be used by Google to develop artificial intelligence programs that can determine the best course of medical care for patients. A spokeswoman for Google said the project is compliant with federal health laws.