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Google has quietly launched a project with one of the nation’s largest nonprofit health systems in which it has gained access to millions of patient records, including names and birth dates, to help deliver more targeted medical treatment.

The initiative, dubbed “Project Nightingale,” gives the tech giant the ability to analyze personal health information compiled by Ascension, a Catholic hospital system that operates in 21 states. It appears to be unusual in that it grants such a large amount of patient data to a third-party technology company without the knowledge of doctors or patients.

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