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Is BigQuery HIPAA compliant?

Is BigQuery HIPAA compliant?

BigQuery is a fully managed data warehouse and analytics platform provided by Google Cloud, enabling users to store, analyze, and derive insights from large-scale datasets using SQL queries. 

Is BigQuery HIPAA compliant? Yes, based on our research, BigQuery can be HIPAA compliant.


Will BigQuery sign a business associate agreement (BAA)?

Yes, BigQuery will sign a business associate agreement, which can be reviewed here.


What does the BigQuery BAA cover?

The BigQuery BAA applies if a customer handles protected health information (PHI) through a covered service as a covered entity or a business associate.

The BAA explains, “This HIPAA Business Associate Addendum (“BAA”) is entered into between Google and the customer agreeing to the terms… and supplements, amends and is incorporated into the Services Agreement(s) solely with respect to Covered Services.” 

Furthermore, “Customer must have an existing Services Agreement in place for this BAA to be valid and effective.”

Their BAA covers:

  • Use and disclosure of PHI only as permitted or required by the Services Agreements and/or the BAA.
  • Use and disclosure of PHI for proper management and administration and to carry out legal responsibilities.
  • Appropriate safeguards designed to prevent unauthorized use or disclosure of PHI.
  • Reporting of security incidents and breaches.
  • Documentation and accounting of disclosures of PHI by Google.


What does the BigQuery BAA exclude?

The BigQuery BAA does not cover “(a) any other Google product, service, or feature that is not a covered service; or (b) any PHI that customer creates, receives, maintains, or transmits outside of the covered services.”

Any PHI managed outside of these designated covered services falls outside the agreement's protection and compliance scope. So, providers must ensure that PHI remains within the covered services to HIPAA compliance.



BigQuery signs a BAA and is therefore HIPAA compliant.

Learn more: HIPAA Compliant Email: The Definitive Guide



What is a business associate agreement?

A business associate agreement (BAA) is a legally binding contract establishing a relationship between a covered entity under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and its business associates. The purpose of this agreement is to ensure the proper protection of personal health information (PHI) as required by HIPAA regulations.


What is HIPAA?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) sets national standards for protecting the privacy and security of certain health information, known as protected health information (PHI). HIPAA is designed to protect the privacy and security of individuals’ health information and to ensure that healthcare providers and insurers can securely exchange electronic health information. Violations of HIPAA can result in significant fines and penalties for covered entities.


Who does HIPAA apply to?

HIPAA applies to covered entities, which include healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses. It also applies to business associates of these covered entities. These are entities that perform certain functions or activities on behalf of the covered entity.

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