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Google to pay $7 million for collecting personal health, other data

[preamble] Interesting, if this was a physicians laptop that was lost with patient data, that doctor would be required by law to report to EVERY patient that their data may have been compromised and may have a fine of possible $1000 PER PATIENT RECORD LOST.
So how is it that GOOGLE can collect personal Medical Data, break all HIPPA rules and not be shut down or punished with a bigger fine – 7 million to GOOGLE is akin to $5 for anyone else. Why is is it that doctors are held to unrealistic standards when others don thave ot play by the same rules? Perhaps they are easy targets? – thoughts?[backtopost]

By Ashley Gold
Google has settled a case with 38 states, agreeing to pay a $7 million fine after it collected personal health information during its Street View project. Google also agreed to educate its employees on confidentiality of user data, according to reports from Bloomberg and the New York Times.

Google has been under worldwide scrutiny for collecting personal data as part of its mapping project. The claims: When Google used its special vehicles to photograph houses and offices all over the world it was at the same time collecting data from millions of unencrypted wireless networks, including emails and medical and financial records and passwords.

Google initially denied that it collected personal health data; later it said the data collection was the work of an independent engineer. The Federal Communications Commission, however, said the engineer wasn’t so much an independent agent gone rogue as he was an unsupervised worker, in a report released last April.

“We work hard to get privacy right at Google, but in this case we didn’t, which is why we quickly tightened up our systems to address the issue,” spokesperson Niki Fenwick said in a statement emailed to media outlets this week.

Meanwhile, another Google product is raising questions about privacy: Google Glasses–wearable devices that use Android software and come equipped with GPS, motion sensors and cameras.