Google sucks up & analyzes healthcare data on millions of Americans in secret AI project… after voluntary opt-in flops

CAP

Google has teamed up with one of the largest health providers in the US to gather detailed medical records on millions of patients across the country without their knowledge, in a secret project the firm tried to keep under wraps.

Dubbed “Project Nightingale,” the secretive program brought together Google and healthcare giant Ascension in an effort to collect medical records on patients across 21 states, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The data sharing began last year, and has only accelerated in recent months.

At least 150 employees at Google’s Cloud division now have access to the bulk of the data, which amounts to information on tens of millions of patients, according to a source familiar with the records. The details shared include patient names and dates of birth, hospitalization records, lab results and doctor diagnoses, which together provide a complete medical history for many of the patients – all without their consent.

CAP

Google says it hopes to use the data to develop an application employing AI and machine learning to track patients and recommend treatments, and ultimately has its eye on creating a search engine that can aggregate disparate patient data in one place. While Google is carrying out its research totally free of charge, presumably for the greater good, the multi-billion dollar corporation is unlikely to miss its chance to monetize the service once health providers around the world are hooked up. Many found Google’s initiative disconcerting, even more so due to the guise of noble and altruistic intentions.

“Wow – this is downright alarming. Do you trust Google with your blood test results, diagnoses, sensitive health information?” asked attorney and Republican National Committee member Harmeet K. Dhillon in a tweet. “Google’s secret ‘Project Nightingale’ gathers personal health data on millions of Americans.”

CAP

The company launched Google Health in 2008, but shuttered it less than four years later after failing to persuade enough users to hand over their medical records willingly, perhaps uncomfortable with the firm having access to such sensitive information. The tech giant has since cut individual consent out of its quest to amass healthcare data, going over the heads of patients to make deals with health providers instead.

In September, the company allied with the Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic to provide cloud services and data analytics in a 10-year “strategic partnership,” which will give Google access to data on up to 1 million patients at the clinic each year.

In another mass data grab earlier this month, the company purchased the maker of the fitness tracking device Fitbit, gobbling up the data of some 28 million active users of the gadget. The data goes beyond simple fitness tracking, such as the number of steps one takes per day, as some users opt to link the device to additional medical or insurance records. While Google vowed to never hand out the Fitbit information to third parties, customers may still have reason to be skeptical about the integrity of their data.

Over the summer, Google and another partnered healthcare facility, the University of Chicago Medical Center, came under fire in a lawsuit alleging the hospital gave Google medical records on hundreds of thousands of patients without stripping them of identifying information. The case mirrored a similar mishap across the pond in 2017, in which the UK’s National Health Service passed the company data on 1.6 million patients in violation of privacy laws.

The secretive data sharing between Ascension and Google is absolutely legal under US federal law, both companies said, insisting that all necessary safeguards to protect patient privacy are in place – as if it ever stopped data leaks. The 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPA) Act allows hospitals and other healthcare providers to pass data to business partners without informing patients so long as it “help[s] the covered entity carry out its health care functions.”

Ascension – a network of some 2,600 hospitals, doctors’ offices and other medical facilities – says it’s doing just that, seeking to use the data to improve care and identify additional tests patients might need. However, documents reviewed by the Journal also suggest the company, like Google, has its bottom line in mind, hoping to use the data-mining to generate more revenue as well.

 

 

DEPLORABLE – SUC Berkeley Instructor: Rural Americans “Bad People” Who’ve Made “Bad Life Decisions”

The coastal academic was fiercely hostile to rural Americans.

By

A University of California-Berkeley instructor and graduate student attacked rural Americans in seemingly contemptuous terms in a now-deleted tweetstorm posted on Wednesday night.

Jackson Kernion is a graduate student at UC-Berkeley who teaches philosophy courses to undergrads. He made himself a target for criticism, some of which came from other left-leaning academics, when he came out with his surprisingly bigoted views against rural Americans.

CAP

Perhaps most shockingly, the elite-university philosophy academic went on to actually call for increased health care costs for rural Americans.

“Rural Healthcare Should be expensive! And that expense should be borne by those who choose rural America!”

It’s unclear what the young punk thinks that eroding rural healthcare programs is going to accomplish, but it’s more than likely that his desire to do so is more firmly rooted in prejudiced rancor than a real, coherent worldview.

Rural Americans are often left with a lack of decent health insurance options under the current American system. Some on the left, such as Bernie Sanders, have sought to offer policy solutions to this problem, but it appears that at least some coastal elitists such as Kernion actually don’t think rural Americans should even have healthcare.

Kernion ended up deleting his Twitter shortly after his tweetstorm, being widely rebuked for his prejudice. However, he did apologize shortly before for his remarks, admitting that his remarks came across as “crass and mean,” leaving open a chance that he could possibly learn and grow from the incident that revealed his starkly bigoted views. It does go without saying that an entire geographic demographic of Americans don’t even deserve healthcare is a bit more than “crass and mean,” though.

Ironically, many of the rural Americans who Kernion has voiced his dislike of would be quick to forgive the elite university student for his slighting of them. The men and women who he speaks of are instrumental in growing the food of urban America, and extracting the natural gas and oil used to power their cars, buses, trains and planes.

Elizabeth Warren Endorses AOC’s Plan Allowing Illegal Immigrants to Collect Welfare

By Mark Alan

Elizabeth Warren is the first 2020 presidential candidate to endorse freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s new “Just Society” plan. The controversial legislative package of six bills would allow illegal immigrants to collect welfare. Some political insiders has accused Warren of disingenuously supporting the plan in an attempt to gain an endorsement from Ocasio-Cortez.

Two of the six separate bills would prohibit the federal government from denying welfare benefits to illegal immigrants and convicted felons. The legislation would also control the rate of yearly rent increases for housing, restructure federal poverty guidelines, and introduce a variety of new factors to determine how federal contracts will be awarded.

Perhaps even more controversial than allowing illegal immigrants to collect welfare, the legislation would seemingly establish health care, housing, and access to healthy food as government-provided rights. Unsurprisingly, Republicans have condemned the legislation.

Warren, however, isn’t backing down from her support of the proposal. “It’s going to take big, structural change to tackle poverty and inequality in the U.S., and [AOC’s] “A Just Society” is just the type of bold, comprehensive thinking we’ll need to get it done,” Warren wrote on Twitter.

CAP

CAP

California Legislature Considers Free Health Care for Illegal Alien Seniors

Gavin Newsom (Justin Sullivan / Getty)

JOEL B. POLLAK

The California state legislature is considering a bill that would expand Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicare program, to illegal aliens over the age of 65 with low incomes.

Earlier this year, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill expanding Medi-Cal to illegal aliens 25 years old and younger with low enough incomes to qualify for the program. That fulfilled a pledge he made in his first act as governor to offer coverage to illegal aliens over 18 years old.

As Calmatters notes, Newsom balked at proposals earlier this year to expand Medi-Cal to elderly illegal aliens because of concerns about the cost, and because the proposal would pre-empt the governor’s budget proposals.

Calmat’s explains (original links):

The bill, authored by Los Angeles Democrat Maria Elena Durazo, would expand Medi-Cal—the state’s version of federal Medicaid  for low-income residents — to undocumented immigrants age 65 and older starting next July. That would inch the state closer to providing health care to all immigrants in the state illegally.

The governor hasn’t indicated whether he would sign this bill, despite his previous support for universal health care. Experts note that he might object to its attempt to lock him into new spending for next year’s budget.

The Newsom administration’s Finance Department opposes the bill, estimating it would cost an additional $163 million in next year’s budget and $255 million the following year, with costs projected to rise further as the senior population of undocumented immigrants grows. Nearly all of those costs would be born by state taxpayers because the federal government, which funds most of Medicaid, refuses to pay for services for people in the country illegally.

All of the Democratic Party frontrunners for president support providing free health care to illegal aliens; all ten presidential candidates on the stage at the second night of the first presidential debate in Miami, Florida, famously raised their hands to agree.

Jobs Stay Solid: 130,000 Created in August, Wages Up 3.2% Black Unemployment to Record-Low 5.5% Labor Force Participation Rate Still Climbing

CAP

By John Carney

The U.S. economy created 130,000 jobs in August and the unemployment rate remained steady at 3.7 percent.

Economists had expected the economy to between 150,000 and 180,000 with the median consensus at 163,000, according to Econoday. Unemployment was expected to remain unchanged. Last month’s jobs figure was originally reported at 164,000, now revised down to 159,000, and unemployment was 3.7 percent.

Although the headline number was weaker than expected, wage growth was strong in August. Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 11 cents to $28.11, or 0.4 percent, following 9-cent gains in both June and July. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.2 percent. In August, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 11 cents to $23.59.

Unemployment among African Americans fell to 5.5 percent, the lowest level on record.

The labor force participation rate edged up to 63.2 percent in August, indicating that the strong labor market has continued to draw Americans into the workforce.

The largest job gains came from professional and business services, which added 37,000.  Census hiring boosted the federal government’s hiring to 28,000 workers. Health care added 24,000 to the total while financial services increased by 15,000.

There were little to no gains in August for construction, manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, and leisure and hospitality. Holding the line on manufacturing jobs is a sign of strength given signs that manufacturing activity fell this summer.

The retail sector shed 11,ooo jobs, with department stores losing 15,000 jobs (partially offset by gains in other retail venues). Over the year, so-called “general merchandise” retails jobs have fallen by 80,000.

While the economy continued to grow in the second and third quarter, it has slowed from the rapid 3.1 percent rate of growth in the first three months of the year. Manufacturing appears to have contracted and business investment has been weak, with surveys indicating that uncertainty around trade policy and global economic weakness have become a drag on the U.S.

Consumer spending and the labor market have been strong. Data released Thursday showed worker compensation rising strongly and well-above inflation. Rising labor costs can promote capital investment by businesses seeking to make workers more productive.
With unemployment near 50-year lows, job growth has slowed and many businesses say they are having trouble hiring. Employment growth has averaged 158,000 per month thus far this year, compared with an average monthly gain of 223,000 in 2018.

 

Facebook’s False ‘Fact Checker’ Strikes Again: Pro-Life Group Flagged for Denying Necessity of Abortion

The statement, “Abortion is Never Medically Necessary” caused a pro-life group to be sanctioned by Facebook.

By Shane Trejo

Facebook has been caught once again using its ministry of truth – a collection of capriciously selected “fact checkers” hand-picked to control freedom of information – to suppress and punish conservative voices.

This time, the victims are pro-life activists who are being punished for circulating the claim that abortions are never medically necessary. LiveAction received a demerit that has caused their page to be censored by the Big Tech monopoly platform.

“Your page has reduced distribution and other restrictions because of repeated sharing of false news. People will also be able to see if a Page has history of sharing false news,” Facebook told LiveAction in a violation notice.

This violation was levied despite the fact that LiveAction conducted factually accurate reporting about the Dublin Declaration, a document signed by over 1,000 OB-GYNs, doctors and other healthcare experts proclaiming that abortion is never a medically necessary procedure.

“As experienced practitioners and researchers in obstetrics and gynecology, we affirm that direct abortion – the purposeful destruction of the unborn child — is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman,” the declaration states.

“We uphold that there is a fundamental difference between abortion, and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatment results in the loss of life of her unborn child. We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women,” it continues.

LiveAction is speaking out against a social media monolith that they feel is deliberately bigoted against Christians, and promotes a leftist worldview by its very existence. Lila Rose, the founder and president of Live Action, is speaking out against this systemic bias.

“With thousands of OB-GYN’s and medical professionals on the record agreeing with us that the direct killing of a child is never medically necessary, it is telling that Facebook decided to fact-check our information, which we have posted about for over three years, using two abortionists for their sourcing,” Rose said.

“Not only did they fail to get disinterested perspectives, they appear to have gone out of their way to find pro-abortion activists whose public opposition to our views is indisputable. This is clear evidence of bias and discrimination against our over three million strong Facebook community members and an outrageous act of censorship on the part of Facebook,” she added.

The Facebook fact checker that flagged LiveAction, Health Feedback, is one employed by Facebook’s ministry of truth to suppress wrongthink. Big League Politics was recently flagged by this same system of thought control that is being used as a last ditch effort to preserve control of the narrative for the political establishment against rising independent competition.

Rose is concerned about the affect LiveAction censorship will have on Christian speech as well as the 1st Amendment in a broader sense. Facebook and other tech giants are on the precipice of realizing the Orwellian nightmare.

“Continued efforts to censor Live Action will have tremendous implications, not only for the pro-life movement, but for free speech in America,” Rose said.

Unless President Donald Trump takes immediate executive action to stop Facebook and other tech giants from engaging in these abusive practices, nothing may stand in the way of Big Brother.

Five Of The Craziest Moments From The CNN Tuesday Night Democratic Debate (VIDEOS)

By Aleister – JULY 31, 2019

The first night of the second 2019 Democratic debate on CNN had some wild moments.

We’re not going to bother with the moments the candidates or the CNN audience liked.

We want to point out some of the crazier moments that will probably be overlooked by the media.

Here are five examples.

5. Marianne Williamson

While talking about Democrats taking corporate donations, Williamson invoked a joke from Seinfeld and suggested that voters are going to “yadda, yadda, yadda, right over them. Watch:

4. Pete Buttigieg

When the subject of the minimum wage came up, Pete Buttigieg, who frequently implies that he is more Christian than anyone else, suggested that you are not a decent Christian if you don’t support raising the minimum wage. Watch:

3. Don Lemon

CNN host Don Lemon was included as a moderator in this debate for some reason. He is not a journalist, he is an opinion guy and he absolutely hates Trump. He made that crystal clear with this question. Note the wording:

2. John King

John King, another CNN host, said something factual in his post-debate analysis. He suggested that this field of candidates is further left than any Democrat who has ever won the presidency, including Obama. Watch:

1. Elizabeth Warren

When asked a direct question about whether her healthcare plans would raise taxes on the middle class, Warren refused to give a straight answer. What a surprise. Watch:

Bonus: Bernie Sanders

Bernie got louder and louder as the night went on and Tim Ryan commented on it.

What a clown show.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑