Tech Digest daily roundup: Google sued for using NHS data of 1.6 million Brits ‘without consent’


Google is being sued over its use of confidential medical records belonging to 1.6 million individuals in the UK. The company’s artificial intelligence arm, DeepMind, received the data in 2015 from the Royal Free NHS Trust in London for the purpose of testing a smartphone app called Streams. The claim is being brought by Andrew Prismall in a representative action in the High Court. It alleges that Google and DeepMind “obtained and used a substantial number of confidential medical records without patients’ knowledge or consent”. Google received data belonging to 1.6 million patients, some of whom had simply attended A&E within the last five years, in order to test a smartphone app which could detect acute kidney injuries. Sky News 

Google and Samsung have teamed up for Health Connect, a platform that enables the creation of Android-based health and fitness experiences. Health Connect takes the form of a new set of APIs (application programming interfaces), which allow developers to securely access data from different programs to sync and track it across apps and devices. “With the new Health Connect API, users will have a comprehensive set of controls to manage their health and fitness data across apps,” Samsung Executive VP TaeJong Jay Yang wrote in a company announcement, teasing more than 50 supported data types including exercise, sleep, nutrition, heart rate, blood pressure, body measurements, and more. PC Magazine

More than $300bn (£246bn) has been wiped off the total value of all cryptocurrencies in circulation as investors panic over the collapse of two of the biggest crypto tokens, while regulators are increasingly monitoring the market, which was worth almost $3 trillion at its peak. The cryptocurrency market meltdown primarily concerns two interlinked cryptocurrencies: Terra, or UST, and Luna. UST is a so-called algorithmic stablecoin. A stablecoin, unlike a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin that fluctuates wildly, is supposed to have a set value, in this case $1. Telegraph 

“They essentially hold on to the side of the asteroid for dear life as it screams through the solar system.” Mitch Hunter-Scullion is describing a six-legged robot called Scar-e, the Space Capable Asteroid Robotic Explorer, which he aims to send to an asteroid to drill for precious metals such as iron, nickel and platinum. As well as being increasingly essential for phones, laptops and cars, some metals like platinum will also be needed to help produce hydrogen as we transition to greener energy. With only a finite supply of them on earth – people are increasingly looking to space to meet this increased demand. BBC

Pour one out for the iPod, the beautiful little gadget of my teenage dreams. While Apple finally discontinued the last iPod model this week, the “pod” lives on in the digital audio medium we all love and obsess over. The iPod was never really the format where the podcast flourished (that would be the smartphone), but at the time podcasts were getting started, the iPod was pretty much the only game in town. In 2004, the iPod controlled 60 percent of the total MP3 player market. It was the default option for listening to audio shows on the go, if an inelegant one. The Verge

Chris Price
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