Privacy

Feds probe Google and Ascension over patient data sharing

Googleplex, the Silicon Valley headquarters of search engine and technology company Google Inc in Mountain View, California, April 14, 2018. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)
Google's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

The Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Health and Human Services told the Wall Street Journal Tuesday it is investigating the data-sharing relationship between Google and not-for-profit hospital system Ascension.

Why it matters: Per Axios health care business reporter Bob Herman, exchanging patients’ health information is legal under federal privacy law, and this data sharing is common, even when patients aren’t aware. The government is making sure Google is contracted as a "'business associate" with Ascension.

Microsoft to apply California privacy rules to all users nationwide

Microsoft logo
Photo: Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Microsoft said in a blog post Monday that it will apply the protections of a new California privacy law for all users in the U.S. The California Consumer Privacy Act was passed last year, but goes into effect Jan. 1.

Why it matters: The law allows consumers to require companies to disclose what data they are keeping on a consumer, and gives consumers the right to have such data be deleted. Also, starting next July, Californians will be allowed to sue businesses for certain data breaches.