Google whistleblower writes anonymous Guardian op-ed with concerns over Ascension project

The author was one of 250 people working on the project, according to the op-ed.

The Guardian published an anonymous op-ed purporting to be the whistleblower who shared details of Google's "Project Nightingale" on Thursday.

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The author was one of 250 people working on the project, according to the op-ed.

"I grew increasingly concerned about the security and privacy aspects of the deal. It became obvious that many around me in the Nightingale team also shared those anxieties," the author wrote.

HEALTH CARE COMPANY'S GOOGLE PARTNERSHIP IS NEW NORMAL: EXPERT

"After a while, I reached a point that I suspect is familiar to most whistleblowers, where what I was witnessing was too important for me to remain silent. Two simple questions kept hounding me: did patients know about the transfer of their data to the tech giant? Should they be informed and given a chance to opt-in or out?" the author continued.

Google has been analyzing personal health data from Ascension in a partnership dubbed "Project Nightingale," the company said Monday, following a report from The Wall Street Journal.

White House advisor Ivanka Trump and the CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, host a roundtable discussion focusing on assisting American workers for the changing economy at El Centro community college on October 3, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenk

While the partnership doesn't appear to violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), it does raise questions for privacy experts.

"The responsible party here is Ascension. It was their job to talk to their patients about this, to get patient input before this happened," Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, told FOX Business. "What is Ascension doing to make sure this info is safe?"

Now the Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights is opening a probe into Project Nightingale.

Google Cloud said on Monday that it had shared information about the Ascension partnership during a July earnings call.

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"Back in July, on our Q2 earnings call, we announced 'Google Cloud's AI and ML solutions are helping healthcare organizations like Ascension improve the healthcare experience and outcomes.' Our work with Ascension is exactly that — a business arrangement to help a provider with the latest technology, similar to the work we do with dozens of healthcare providers."

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