By Rob Copeland
Five U.S. senators pressed for more information on Google's coronavirus testing sites in California, particularly the search giant's requirement that patients must create or use a Google account to participate in the program.
The senators, all Democrats, said in a letter that they had unanswered "concerns on privacy and cybersecurity vulnerabilities." They asked that Google end the requirement that users have a Google account, or any other email address, to access the site, as well as attest that any information collected abides by the federal healthcare privacy law known as HIPAA.
Google parent Alphabet Inc.'s closely-held Verily division is running a handful of testing sites in Northern California in an unusual private-public partnership touted by President Trump early this month. A Verily website screens patients with certain symptoms and directs them to drive-through testing locations. In the first week, some 1,200 individuals were tested, the company says.
The letter was sent Tuesday by senators including Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) and Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) to Verily CEO Andrew Conrad.
Google spokespeople didn't respond to a request for comment Tuesday. Verily earlier said any information collected would not be used for advertising.