• Friday, April 19, 2024


London court dismisses lawsuit against Google regarding medical records

The NHS had shared patient data with Google’s artificial intelligence company, DeepMind Technologies, back in 2015

Representative Image – Medical technology concept. Remote medicine. Electronic medical record. (iStock)

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

On Friday (19), Google emerged victorious in a lawsuit filed on behalf of 1.6 million individuals regarding the transfer of medical records from a UK hospital trust to the US tech giant.

The Royal Free London NHS Trust, an entity within the public National Health Service (NHS), had shared patient data with Google’s artificial intelligence company, DeepMind Technologies, back in 2015.

This collaboration aimed to develop a mobile application capable of analysing medical records and identifying acute kidney injuries.

However, in 2017, Britain’s data protection watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office, determined that the Royal Free had improperly utilised patient data by providing it to DeepMind.

In a lawsuit filed last year, Alphabet Inc GOOGL.O unit Google and DeepMind faced legal action initiated by Andrew Prismall, a patient from the Royal Free, on behalf of 1.6 million individuals.

The lawsuit alleged the misuse of private information.

During the proceedings in March, the companies contended that the case was destined to fail.

They argued that there was no likelihood of proving that the private information of all 1.6 million claimants was misused or that they held any reasonable expectation of privacy concerning the information.

On Friday, Judge Heather Williams delivered a ruling that the case should not proceed, concurring that it was “bound to fail.”

“I conclude that each member of the claimant class does not have a realistic prospect of establishing a reasonable expectation of privacy in respect of their relevant medical records,” she said in a written ruling.


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