We originally wrote about Google Workspace and its ability to provide HIPAA compliant email in 2017. Back then, it was still called G Suite.
In our initial review, we found that Google Workspace was
Now that it’s 2023, we’ll revisit the question: Is Google Workspace HIPAA compliant?
SEE ALSO: Google & HIPAA Compliance: The Ultimate Guide
The purpose of this post is to determine if Google Workspace offers HIPAA compliance or not.
SEE ALSO: HIPAA Breaches and Cloud Providers
About Google Workspace
Google Workspace is Google's brand of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools. Its most popular services are Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Drive (including Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms).
While these services are typically free to use for consumers, Google Workspace adds enterprise features such as branded email addresses at a domain (@yourcompany.com), as well as phone and email support.
Google Workspace and the Business associate agreement
We’ve previously talked about how a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) is a written contract between a Covered Entity and a Business Associate. It is required by law for HIPAA compliance.
We checked Google's site and found a Google Workspace Administrator Help article called HIPAA Compliance with Google Workspace.
In the article, Google points out:
"Google offers a BAA covering Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive (including Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms), Google Hangouts (chat messaging feature only), Hangouts Meet, Google Keep, Google Cloud Search, Google Sites, Jamboard, and Google Vault services."
Does Google Workspace offer HIPAA compliant service?
The Business Associate Agreement is a key component to HIPAA compliance between a Covered Entity and a Business Associate.
Since Google offers one that covers Google Workspace, we conclude that Google Workspace is a HIPAA compliant service.
It's important to note however:
- You must sign a BAA with Google. It is not included by default.
- Google's BAA does not cover email sent or received in transit.
Google Workspace, formerly known as Google Apps, is HIPAA compliant. Make sure you sign a BAA with Google and that you have a solution in place to address email sent in transit.
SEE ALSO: Is Gmail HIPAA Compliant