Amazon, the company known for delivering countless boxes to your door as well as for spying and collecting data on you, is acquiring One Medical, a primary care provider, for roughly $3.9 billion the companies said Thursday.
The acquisition signals Amazon's continued foray into the healthcare market having bought PillPack in 2018 for $750 million, using the acquisition to launch its own online pharmacy years later. Amazon has also ramped up effort in its telehealth service Amazon Care, along with plans to develop at-home medical diagnostics.
If the deal goes through, Amazon would be in possession of the medical data of over 700,000 One Medical customers.
However, the purchase of One Medical by Amazon has raised concerns regarding the company's track record with sensitive customer data, especially with the recent news that the company has been giving cops footage from its Ring cameras without customers' knowledge or consent.
"Pushing forward into healthcare raises some serious red flags, especially in the post-Roe reality where peoples’ data can be used to criminalize their reproductive healthcare decisions,” said Caitlin Seeley George speaking to CNBC. Seeley George serves as the campaign director for Fight for the Future, an advocacy group focused on technology and digital rights. "I don’t think there is anything Amazon could do to make people trust the company with their healthcare information."
Amazon, in an email to CNBC, stated that the company will follow HIPPA laws and protections and would not use customer medical data for marketing and advertising purposes. "Should the deal close, One Medical customers’ HIPAA Protected Health Information will be handled separately from all other Amazon businesses, as required by law," the Amazon spokesperson told CNBC in an email.
While privacy and data concerns from customers are valid, One Medical CEO Amir Dan Rubin said in a statement that the purchase would provide an "immense opportunity to make the health care experience more accessible, affordable and even enjoyable for patients, providers, and payers."