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Google in trouble after obtaining 'legally inappropriate' medical data in UK

Staff Writer | May 16, 2017
A Google subsidiary has come in for criticism after claims that it obtained data belonging to 1.6m NHS patients on an "inappropriate legal basis."
UK hospital
Technology   Whether DeepMind had the legal basis
The Google-owned artificial intelligence firm DeepMind collaborated with the UK's National Health Service for the launch of a new medical app, but questions have been raised about whether the use of patients' details was allowed or not.

Sky News revealed this week that a letter was sent from the UK's National Data Guardian to the Royal Free Hospital in London, raising concerns about how the patients' data was handled.

The core of the issue is whether DeepMind had the legal basis for handling the data of the millions of patients in the UK without asking each for individual permission.

The AI firm has argued that permission can be waived in the case of it providing "direct care" to NHS patients.

DeepMind is a British artificial intelligence firm which was acquired by Google in 2014, and had been testing the smartphone app Streams, which was set up in attempt to combat deaths related to kidney injury, or AKI.