Google DeepMind Can Access 1.6 Million Patients Data in UK

  • Saad Qureshi
  • May-06-2016

According to a recent data-sharing agreement Google-owned UK based company “DeepMind” can access data of over 1.6 million of patients.

The AI Tech Company can access the data of patients who pass through any of the three hospitals run by Royal Free NHS Trust including Barnet, Chase Farm and the Royal Free. The collected information includes the records of patients suffering from HIV, Drug overdose and abortions. Moreover, the company can access patient data from the last five years.

DeepMind & Royal Free NHS Data-Sharing Agreement

The data-sharing agreement allows the British Artificial Intelligence Company “Google DeepMind” to help hospital staff with monitoring patients suffering from kidney disease. The long term agreement states that the plans to monitor and analyze data will extend in future. This clause has concerned various health data privacy groups including MedConfidential, who claim that DeepMind’s plans aren’t limited to just kidney function as DeepMind is getting access to full patient data.

An official statement

The data-sharing agreement does however signify that Google cannot use the retained data in any of its other business units. Moreover, data is not stored in DeepMind’s offices or servers, instead, a third party contractor is hired to store data within the UK. Fortunately, DeepMind is obliged to delete all copies of patient data upon expiry of the data-sharing agreement in September 2017.

We noted the following important facts from the agreement between the NHS and Google Inc.:

  • Hospitals will disclose logs of day-to-day activity, the status of patients, detail of visitors and result of tests.
  • DeepMind can access historical data of Royal Free Trust hospitals from the last five years.
  • Royal Free hasn’t explained how a patient can opt-out from the mass data collection program.
  • The document sheds light upon a developing platform of DeepMind named as “Patient Rescue”. It will carry out real-time analysis of patients’ data and aid in making diagnostic decisions.

Saad Qureshi

Saad Qureshi


Saad Qureshi's Biography :

Saad is a privacy advocate by day and a Dota 2 player by night. He loves to share his knowledge, experience, and insights about internet freedom and online privacy. When he is not busy blogging about the latest trend in the tech world, he is engaged in killing noobs on Dota.