Press Release

Sens. Welch and Warren Call for Answers from Amazon on Use and Collection of Patient Data

Jun 16, 2023

WASHINGTONSenators Peter Welch (D-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) today sent a letter to Amazon President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy following reporting that patients seeking to enroll in Amazon Clinic, the company’s “virtual healthcare storefront,” are asked to provide Amazon with expansive access to their health information and authorize the company to disclose that information to other entities. The letter requests information on the types of data collected by Amazon Clinic Services and how Amazon is using the data it collects.

“Amazon Clinic has represented that the company does not ‘use customer data for purposes that customers haven’t consented to,’” the letter read. “However, Amazon Clinic provides no information on its website as to why the company is collecting customer health care data or for what purposes it is used.”  The letter concluded, “Amazon Clinic customers deserve to fully understand why Amazon is collecting their health care data and what the company is doing with it.”

Amazon Clinic advertises low-cost health care provided online, a service that is especially relevant to rural Americans, who may have to travel long distances to secure medical care. A recent study noted that rural Vermonters travel up to 3.6 times further than people in urban areas to get to hospital-based health care, with some traveling up to 50 miles to access specific hospital services.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently secured a $1.5 million penalty from telehealth provider GoodRx for failing to notify customers that their personal health data had been disclosed to third parties for advertising, the FTC’s first enforcement action under the 2023 Health Breach Notification Rule.

To read the full text of the lawmakers’ letter, please click here.