back to article Brit law firm files suit against Google and Deepmind over use of hospital patients' data

A UK law firm is bringing legal action on behalf of patients it says had their confidential medical records obtained by Google and DeepMind Technologies in breach of data protection laws. Mishcon de Reya said today it planned a representative action on behalf of Mr Andrew Prismall and the approximately 1.6 million individuals …

  1. alain williams Silver badge

    How far back did the data slurp go ?

    I lived near there many years ago. I have not been asked if google could mine my data. How do I get them to delete it ?

    OK: I know the answer to the last question: they will not delete it.

    1. Woodnag

      Data is never deleted...

      ... just marked so that you can't see it. Others can.

    2. ShadowSystems Silver badge

      Re: How far back did the data slurp go ?

      The easiest way to force Google, FaceBook, Twitter, et al to delete their copies of your data is to drop a nuke into their server farm & make sure everything gets EMP'd & turned to molten slag. Failing that, upload Vogon poetry until the servers self destruct. =-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How far back did the data slurp go ?

        drop a nuke into their server farm & make sure everything gets EMP'd & turned to molten slag.

        You realise those major providers have multiple farms in multiple countries within multiple continents.

        We couldn’t have dc’s within a jumbo jet crash radius of each other and they where connected via dual carrier mpls with no over lapping paths ( circuits coming into the building from opposite ends etc).

        We where a minnow yet would have kept the website operating if the UK vanished.

        You’ll need a lot of nukes across the globe to stop those server farms.

  2. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Tip of the iceberg

    I've no doubt that there has been much more of this going on. How much we'll ever find out about is moot.

  3. Paceman

    If personal indentifiable data (name, address, dob) was removed, would the remaining data still be able to be used to test the algorithm? I can't see why that data would be required, and if it was removed, would there still be the level of concern?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Address, Date-of-birth......both INCLUDED in proposed NHS data slurp


      The recently delayed (not executed yet) NHS slurp would have been "pseudonymised". This weasel word means that PII would be excluded from the slurp -- EXCEPT FOR POSTCODE AND DATE-OF-BIRTH.


      Now with people like DeepMind and Palantir able to de-anonymise data using matches with other databases.....this "pseudonymised" data would be anonymous for only a few minutes.


      I think the same applies to this reported slurp by DeepMind/Google.

    2. scrubber

      All your data are belong to us

      Paceman: "...if it was removed, would there still be the level of concern?"

      No. But their should be! There is no such thing as anonymous data when it has anything useful in it.

      What's the first thing you do when you have symptoms? Google it. When Google has your medical records, sans name, it is child's play to match records to people. But even better, people also tell their friends and family so Google can also create a map of your connections. Link that to your Android phone and location data and you have an unbelievable amount of information about someone (everyone) based on their "anonymous" medical records.

  4. Ashto5

    Who will stop them

    It is going to happen

    So let the law suit run and let’s hope they hit them in the pocket hard

    As for the guy at the hospital responsible for this agreement hopefully he is no longer employed and did not get a golden parachute

    1. AHW

      Re: Who will stop them

      No longer employed, no Golden Parachute? Of course not.

      Ater his stint as Chief Information Officer at Royal Free Hospital, Professor Stephen Powis is now National Medical Director of NHS England

  5. Winkypop Silver badge

    'legally inappropriate'

    Is that the establishment’s way of politely calling our their peers for ‘illegal’ activities?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about financial gains?

    So presumably Google and Deepmind (and not impossibly some people on the NHS side via side businesses) are looking to profit off of this.

    I don't suppose there's a cut in there for those whose data has been abused - which given anonymization (which I'm sure was done very effectively) would have to include all people who could have potentially had their data in the set.

  7. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge

    Weak phrasing

    "Breach of doctor/patient confidentiality" is greater by far than "privacy complaint." They need the big hammer wielded.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In a proper running society..

    ..everyone involved with this would be looking at criminal charges.

  9. Omnipresent

    Lets give our DNA to the internet.

    Let's give our medical history, DNA, and family tree to the internet AI.

    does this SOUND like a good idea? Get me off your servers.

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