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Google Offers Homeless Free Voicemail  (Source: MSNBC)
Google says the voicemail will allow doctors and employers to contact the homeless

The problem for many homeless job seekers and homeless people with medical conditions is that while they can get assistance with healthcare and looking for a job, they don’t typically have a way for doctors or potential employers to contact them.

Google announced this week that it would offer free voicemail to every homeless person in San Francisco. The voicemail will cost the homeless people nothing and messages can be retrieved from any phone. The users would be able to leave their own personal greetings and the numbers are theirs to keep forever.

Google says that there will be nothing to indicate to people calling the voicemail that it is anything other than a standard local number. This will allow homeless to fill out job applications and leave a contact number, making them more likely to find work. The numbers can also be used to allow doctors and clinics to contact users as well as giving family a way to reach the homeless.

Craig Walker, senior project manager at Google told MSNBC, "It just seems exactly like any other voicemail. There's no stigma attached to it that 'hey this is a temporary thing' or 'this is an 800 number.' It's really just a local number owned by the user."

The program is ready to start in San Francisco right away and if successful could be rolled out to more cities across the country in the future. Google also announced another new imitative today called Google Health that allows people to keep medical records in one place.

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Google Heath
By Netopia on 2/29/2008 1:50:31 PM , Rating: -1
Google also announced another new imitative today called Google Health that allows people to keep medical records in one place.

Like anyone with half a brain would want their personal medical info kept by some third party that is as vulnerable as anyone (like credit card companies) to being hacked.

No thanks, I'll pass on Google Health.


RE: Google Heath
By zombiexl on 2/29/2008 2:05:30 PM , Rating: 2
I agree.. I love the we're not covered by HIPPA.

Technically if you are storing information covered by HIPPA
you are required to abide by HIPPA regulations.

RE: Google Heath
By dever on 2/29/2008 2:42:10 PM , Rating: 2
While I'm not ready to jump in yet, there's a lot more accountability in a private corporation than a government bureau. In a company, screw ups entail consequences.

RE: Google Heath
By zombiexl on 2/29/2008 2:43:28 PM , Rating: 2
Like all those consequences for those constantly hacked credit card companies?

RE: Google Heath
By ebakke on 2/29/2008 5:18:59 PM , Rating: 2
When people get their info stolen, they leave the company. When the company loses money, it reprimands those who caused the problem.

RE: Google Heath
By guy007 on 2/29/2008 3:35:00 PM , Rating: 2
He's right. Why would you rate this guy down? Keeping your health records with a third party is a dumb decision, one small breech of security and everything personal is released. HIPAA is in place to protect us all.

RE: Google Heath
By ebakke on 2/29/2008 5:21:44 PM , Rating: 2
Google may be following guidelines that are at least as stringent as HIPAA. You (unless you're a Google employee working on Google Health) simply have no idea.

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