Subscribers to the health care app One Medical vowed to cancel their memberships on Friday after it was announced that the startup dubbed “the Netflix of primary care” would be bought by Amazon for $3.9 billion.
Angry One Medical subscribers said they were ditching the service because of concerns that the Seattle-based e-commerce giant would get their hands on their private data.
“I’m going to need an explainer and explicit contract around what data Amazon will/will not have access to from One Medical,” tweeted Teri Hoffman.
“This feels like a big yikes from a privacy standpoint. Love One Medical, but I’m probably out…”
A Twitter user with the handle @dantelives13 tweeted: “Time to cancel my one medical membership.”
Zach Cole tweeted: “Nooooooooooo!!!! Now I gotta cancel One Medical. Recs for other non-Amazon alternatives?”
Another Twitter user wrote: “Amazon acquiring One Medical and now I gotta cancel my s–t.”
One Twitter user posted a screenshot of them canceling their membership from One Medical.
The multi-billion dollar acquisition also didn’t sit well with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a frequent critic of multinational corporations and a proponent of universal healthcare.
The former presidential candidate urged the Biden administration to intervene and block the deal.
“The function of a rational health care system is to provide quality care to all in a cost-effective way, not make billionaires like Jeff Bezos even richer,” Sanders tweeted.
“At a time of growing concentration of ownership, the Justice Department must deny Amazon’s acquisition of One Medical.”
Amazon collects data on consumers through its Alexa voice assistant, its e-commerce marketplace, Kindle e-readers, Audible audiobooks, its 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 subscribers’ user data as a result of the announced merger.
“As required by law, Amazon will never share One Medical customers’ personal health information outside of One Medical for advertising or marketing purposes of other Amazon products and services without clear permission from the customer,” the spokesperson said.
“Should the deal close, One Medical customers’ HIPAA Protected Health Information will be handled separately from all other Amazon businesses, as required by law.”
But experts say that Amazon will have a hard time convincing skeptics.
“People don’t want their private medical data ripped off by big tech and they suddenly experience Alexa selling them on ways to heal deeply personal ailments or worse third parties have their anonymized records and trail them via targeting across the web,” Eric Schiffer, the CEO of private equity firm The Patriarch Organization, told The Post.
“Privacy in healthcare in crucial to consumers and Big tech entering healthcare scares people that it could go boom.”
Schiffer added: “The reality is Amazon would absolutely abide by HIPA requirements but that doesn’t mean consumers will believe it.”
One Medical is a San Francisco-based startup which offers a subscription app where patients gain access to 24/7 on-demand 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 seeking comment.