by Hoala Greevy Founder CEO of Paubox
Article filed in

Can I use Google Cloud Search and be HIPAA compliant?

by Hoala Greevy Founder CEO of Paubox

Google building

We’ve been seeing more vendors, customers, and prospects asking about HIPAA compliant services.

Since Paubox is a Business Associate to thousands of customers, we’ve been wondering if they are able to use Google Cloud Search in a HIPAA compliant manner.

SEE ALSO: Google & HIPAA Compliance: The Ultimate Guide

We know the HIPAA industry is vast, so we can empathize with just how many people need to use cloud services in this sector.

Today we will determine if Google Cloud Search offers HIPAA compliant service or not.

Google Cloud Search

Google Cloud Search allows employees of a company to search and retrieve internal information using Google’s search engine.

Internal documents, database fields, and CRM data can be searched by Google Cloud Search via a company’s internal data repositories.

See Also: How to Make Gmail HIPAA Compliant

What is a Business Associate?

A Business Associate is a person or company that performs certain functions or activities that involve the use or disclosure of protected health information (PHI) for a Covered Entity.

In a nutshell, the role of a Business Associate is to help Covered Entities comply with the HIPAA Privacy Rule

Read full article: What does it mean to be a Business Associate?

Secure email for modern healthcare. Right out of the box.

Business Associate Agreement provisions

If a Business Associate provides services to a Covered Entity, then a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) must be in place.

A BAA is a written contract between a Covered Entity and a Business Associate and is required by law for HIPAA compliance.

At a minimum, a Business Associate Agreement contains 10 provisions.

Read full article: Business Associate Agreement Provisions

Google and the Business Associate Agreement

We checked Google for mention of their ability to sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) for Google Cloud Search.

We found a Google Workspace Administrator Help article called HIPAA Compliance with Google Workspace.

In the article, Google points out:

“Administrators must review and accept a BAA before using Google services with PHI. Google offers a BAA covering… Google Cloud Search.”

Does Google Cloud Search offer HIPAA Compliant Service?

The Business Associate Agreement (BAA) is a key component to HIPAA compliance between a Covered Entity and a Business Associate.

Since Google Workspace offers a BAA that covers Google Cloud Search, we conclude that Google Cloud Search is a HIPAA compliant service, as long as you digitally sign a BAA with Google.

Conclusion: Google Cloud Search can be configured for HIPAA compliance.

Try Paubox Email Suite for FREE today.