Government hands Amazon free access to NHS informationBMJ 2019; 367 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l6901 (Published 09 December 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6901
- Elisabeth Mahase
- The BMJ
Amazon has been given access to all “healthcare information” of the NHS in England except patients’ records, shows a government contract obtained through freedom of information legislation.
The technology company, which has an estimated market value of $900bn (£685bn), has access to all the information free of charge, despite the data being gathered at taxpayers’ expense.
The contract, obtained by the charity Privacy International and revealed by the Sunday Times,1 specifies that Amazon has access to “symptoms, causes and definitions” and to “all related copyrightable content and data and other materials.” It can use the data to develop, advertise, and sell “new products, applications, cloud-based services and/or distributed software.”
Amazon told The BMJ that all the information provided through this deal was …