Will Google get away with grabbing 50m Americans’ health records?

Googles reputation has remained relatively unscathed despite behaviors similar to Facebooks. This could be the tipping point Few things are certain in the American healthcare system except for the paperwork. The tedious ritual of signing forms authorizing new providers to access our medical history is the result of a rarity for Americans: thanks to the first amendment, we have few rights and little expectation of privacy, except when it comes to our medical records. Even doctors who have our best interests at heart must get permission to access our data under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (Hipaa). So it was truly shocking to learn this week that a business partnership between Google and Ascension, a major hospital chain …

Google’s secret cache of medical data includes names and full details of millions whistleblower

Whistleblower tells Guardian of growing alarm over secret transfer of medical history data, which can be accessed by Google staff A whistleblower who works in Project Nightingale, the secret transfer of the personal medical data of up to 50 million Americans from one of the largest healthcare providers in the US to Google, has expressed anger to the Guardian that patients are being kept in the dark about the massive deal. The anonymous whistleblower has posted a Wall Street Journal, involves the transfer to Google of healthcare data held by Ascension, the second-largest healthcare provider in the US. The data is being transferred with full personal details including name and medical history and can be accessed by Google staff. Unlike …

The machine always wins: what drives our addiction to social media

The long read: Social media was supposed to liberate us, but for many people it has proved addictive, punishing and toxic. What keeps us hooked? We are swimming in writing. Our lives have become, in the words of the author and academic Shoshana Zuboff, an electronic text. Facebook for just 99 days. Many of these determined quitters couldnt even make the first few days. And many of those who successfully quit had access to another social networking site, like Twitter, so that they had simply displaced their addiction. Those who stayed away, however, were typically in a happier frame of mind and less interested in controlling how other people thought of them, thus implying that social media addiction is partly …

We just clicked: why I set out to find a new group of friends online

Can a friendship app, a digital neighbourhood noticeboard or Facebook really help me discover a new bestie? This year started with a bang. It burst into life with fireworks and kisses, and then came the sound of a spoon tapping on a wine glass. Since were all together, said my friend, I wanted to say its been an honour knowing you while Ive been in London. Another leaving speech. I have heard many over the past few years, watching loved ones leave in search of job opportunities or housing security, or as a cure for homesickness. Later, as I lay in bed, I thought about my rate of friend attrition. How long until I found myself totally alone? Five years? …