Google Is Slurping Up Health Data—and It Looks Totally Legal

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Tech giants can access all of your personal medical details under existing health privacy laws. The question is how else that data might get used.

Last week, when Google gobbled up Fitbit in a $2.1 billion acquisition, the talk was mostly about what the company would do with all that wrist-jingling and power-walking data. It’s no secret that Google’s parent, Alphabet—along with fellow giants Apple and Facebook—is on an aggressive hunt for health data. But it turns out there’s a cheaper way to get access to it: Teaming up with health care providers.

DOES THE END REALLY JUSTIFY THE MEANS IN ALL CASES

On Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported details on Project Nightingale, Google’s under-the-radar partnership with Ascension, the nation’s second-largest health system. The project, which reportedly began last year, includes sharing the personal health data of tens of millions of unsuspecting patients. The bulk of the work is…

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