Amazon, a US company, has access to a well of data collected by the UK’s state health care system, and Britain has not paid a pound for it. The data can serve a technology giant to develop new services that it can offer worldwide. On Sunday, the Sunday Times reported that, under the Freedom of Information Act, they got into a government contract with Amazon.
The Observer Sunday reported that the UK government also sold data on millions of NHS patients to a number of foreign pharmaceutical companies. The Ministry of Health is said to have collected up to £ 330,000 for a single license, with “anonymous” information to help companies like Merck and Eli Lilly research.
Amazon, on the other hand, according to The Sunday Times, accessed the data recorded by the NHS completely free. In addition, British state care will not benefit from the cooperation even if an American company develops a lucrative new health-related application.
The partnership with Amazon was announced in July by Health Minister Matt Hancock, but the agreement shows that the then-announced support for the smart appliance Alexa is only a small part of the project. In addition to data from the NHS website, Jeff Bezos has been given access to “all medical information” except for those directly related to patients. It may be used for the production, promotion, and sale of new products, applications, or other services and may also be shared with third parties.
“The most alarming thing is that Amazon is not paying for it, although the data is very valuable. The NHS is among the world leaders in collecting this data, so it is truly incredible that it does not charge for it,” the lawyer who analyzed the contract.
The government did not want to comment on the matter, and an NHS spokesman said in a statement that the state health system took personal data protection very seriously and did not provide any patient information to Amazon. However, British opposition officials have criticized the free disclosure of data, according to Labor Shadow Health Minister Jon Ashworth, the government is “very irresponsible” and serves the interests of large corporations.