On Tuesday, a group of Democratic U.S. senators grilled Verily, the life sciences arm of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, about privacy issues related to the company’s new crown screening site,media reported. It is reported that the site went live two weeks ago, allowing users to see through screening whether they should go to the new coronary virus testing station.
The tool is currently only available to people in four California counties and is run by Verily’s Project Baseline.
Lawmakers raised concerns about the site’s compliance with the Medicare Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA is a federal law that regulates the security and privacy of certain medical information. Senators also challenged the site’s requirement that screening be conducted only with Google accounts, a move that has in fact drawn close attention from privacy advocates.
“As the company advances its new Coronavirus benchmark pilot program and test screening sites in California, addressing these critical privacy issues is critical,” the senators said in an open letter to the company’s CEO, Andy Conrad. The letter was signed by Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Kamala Harris of California, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Cory Booker of New Jersey.
Verily did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the company has until April 6 to respond to the letter.