Steve Daines to Google: ‘Critical’ to Protect Americans’ Healthcare Privacy

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 15: U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) speaks at a Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee hearing, with U.S. Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin, on the proposed budget estimates and justification for FY2020 for the Treasury Department at the U.S. Capitol on May 15, 2019 in Washington, …
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Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) sent a letter to Google requesting answers on how it ensures Americans’ and Montanans’ private healthcare data.

Daines sent a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai requesting answers on how to secure Americans’ private data in the wake of a report that found that Google led a project code-named “Project Nightingale” to gain more control over Americans’ medical data. The report found that at least 150 Google employees had access to tens of millions of Americans’ personal data.

Daines wrote to Pichai:

[O]ne of my top priorities in Congress is upholding the privacy rights of Montanans, and all Americans, and ensuring there are robust safeguards in place to protect sensitive patient data. In light of recent reports regarding ‘Project Nightingale,’ I am concerned about how patient information is being collected and stored and believe it is critical that we ensure sensitive health data is handled properly and lawfully.

The federal government has opened an investigation into Google’s effort to collect the personal data of millions of Americans through its “Project Nightingale.”

In his letter to Pichai, Daines asked if patients and doctors were informed of this “mass data collection” through Project Nightingale and if “consent waivers” were provided to patients to refuse the collection of health information.

This is not the first time that Daines has criticized Google.

Daines and Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-MT) sent a letter to Pichai in May demanding that Google reverse its position banning hunting advertising. Google had previously rejected Montana’s Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) ad on Google.

“We, therefore, demand you reverse these prohibitions and request that Google reexamine their policy interpretations on prohibiting hunting promotions,” the lawmakers wrote in  May. “We also request a meeting to discuss the importance of Montana’s and the United States’ hunting heritage.”

In response to Google’s rejection of the RMEF ad, one Google employee claimed that the ad was considered “animal cruelty and deemed inappropriate to be shown on our network.”

Read Daines’ letter to Pichai here.

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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