Google DeepMind gets hit by a class-action lawsuit for “shortcomings” in how it handled over 1.6 million NHS patient records
A class-action lawsuit was recently launched in the UK against Google DeepMind. The plaintiff in the case, Andrew Prismall alleged that his confidential records and those over 1.6 million others were shared with Google without consent.
Mr. Prismall had this to say with regards to the lawsuit: “ “As a patient having any sort of medical treatment, the last thing you would expect is your private medical records to be in the hands of one of the world’s biggest technology companies.”
The NHS patient records were provided to Google in 2015 by the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. The data was used by Google to build Streams, a diagnostic app to help patients at risk of developing acute kidney injury. Following investigations, including by the UK’s Information Commission, Google apologized in 2017 for the manner in which it handled the sensitive data, though it assumed no legal liability.
The class-action suit could, however, change that. The suit comes at a time when governments across the world are increasingly vigilant about the impact of Big Tech on user privacy. With UK class-action suits being opt-out in nature, and with over 1.6 million affected parties, Google could be liable to make a significant payout if it loses.