Medical user vows to cancel $3.9 billion worth of memberships from Amazon deal
Subscribers to healthcare app One Medical vowed to cancel their membership on Friday after it was announced that the startup dubbed “Netflix Primary Care” would be bought by Amazon for $3.9 billion.
Angry One Medical subscribers said they were abandoning the service over concerns that the Seattle-based e-commerce giant would get their hands on their private data.
Terry Hoffman wrote on Twitter: “I will need an explanation and an explicit contract about the data that Amazon will not / will not be able to access from One Medical.”
“That sounds like a big panic from a privacy standpoint. Love One Medical, but I’m probably on the outside…”
A Twitter user with the hashtag @dantelives13 tweeted: “Time to cancel my one medical membership.”
Zack Cole tweeted: “Nooooooooooo!!!! Now should I cancel One Medical. Recs for alternatives other than Amazon?”
Another user wrote on Twitter: “Amazon has acquired One Medical and now I have to cancel my credit.”
A Twitter user posted a screenshot of them canceling their membership from One Medical.
Nor did the multibillion-dollar acquisition go well with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a frequent critic of multinational corporations and a proponent of universal health care.
The former presidential candidate urged the Biden administration to intervene and block the deal.
“The job of a rational healthcare system is to cost-effectively provide quality care to everyone, not make billionaires like Jeff Bezos richer,” Sanders wrote on Twitter.
“At a time of increasing ownership concentration, the Department of Justice must reject Amazon’s acquisition of One Medical.”
Amazon collects data on consumers through its Alexa voice assistant, e-commerce marketplace, Kindle e-readers, audiobooks, video and music platforms, home security cameras and fitness trackers, according to Reuters.
Alexa-enabled devices make recordings inside people’s homes, and Ring security cameras capture every visitor.
But an Amazon spokesperson told The Post that there was no risk to One Medical’s subscriber user data as a result of the announced merger.
“As required by law, Amazon will never share One Medical’s customers’ personal health information outside of One Medical for the purposes of advertising or marketing other Amazon products and services without the express permission of the customer,” the spokesperson said.
“In the event of a transaction closing, One Medical’s HIPAA-protected health information will be treated separately from all other Amazon companies, as required by law.”
But experts say Amazon will have a hard time persuading skeptics.
“People don’t want their private medical data stolen by big tech, and suddenly they’re experiencing Alexa selling them with ways to treat deep personal ailments or worse third parties having their records anonymised and tracking them through targeting across the web,” Eric Schaefer, CEO of the private equity firm The Patriarch Organization, for The Post.
“Privacy in healthcare is critical to consumers and the entry of big technology into healthcare is scaring people that it can thrive.”
“The truth is that Amazon will fully comply with HIPA requirements but that doesn’t mean that consumers will believe it,” Schaefer added.
One Medical is a San Francisco-based startup that offers a subscription app where patients can access on-demand, 24/7 telehealth services as well as same-day or next-day appointments with doctors.
The company oversees 188 medical offices in 25 cities. It boasts a subscription base of 767,000 customers.
The Post has reached out to One Medical for comment.