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In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data breach, Facebook has reportedly suspended a research project where the social media giant was in touch with several major US hospitals to collect data about their patients.
According to a report in CNBC late Thursday, Facebook aimed to build profiles of patients and help the hospitals, including Stanford Medical School and American College of Cardiology, figure out which patients may need special care or treatment.
"This work has not progressed past the planning phase, and we have not received, shared, or analysed anyone's data," a Facebook spokesperson told CNBC.
A Facebook statement said: "Last year Facebook began discussions with leading medical institutions to explore whether scientific research using anonymised Facebook data could help the medical community advance our understanding in this area.
Facebook, however, told The Verge that the patient data would instead be used more generally.
"The project would not attempt to provide health recommendations for specific people. Instead, the focus would be on producing general insights that would help medical professionals take social connectedness into account as they develop treatment or intervention programmes for their patients," a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying.