UK law firm sues Google subsidiary for breach of data protection laws

By Legal Wires 3 Minutes Read

A United Kingdom’s law firm, Mishcon de Reya, is going to bring a suit against Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) subsidiary DeepMind Technologies over breach of data protection laws arising from DeepMind’s data-sharing arrangement with the Royal Free London National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust.

In 2015, DeepMind and the NHS announced a collaboration for developing an app for clinicians treating kidney disease. The idea was to streamline alerts and access to patient data for a faster and more accurate prognosis of acute kidney injury by doctors and nurses.

However, it be when the data-sharing agreement was made public, it was revealed that DeepMind was gaining access to a wide-ranging scope of data including admissions, discharge and transfer, accidents, emergencies, critical care, pathology and radiology data. The NHS, which operates three hospitals in the UK and covers up to 1.6 million patients, would be sharing access to five years’ worth of historical medical records of patients without obtaining their knowledge or informed consent.

The UK data protection regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), in 2017 sanctioned the NHS for failing to comply with the country’s Data Protection Act. Although the app was employed by NHS royal trusts in the years since 2015, it was been discontinued over time. In August, Google announced that it will be decommissioning the app.

Legal Wires

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