Big Brother Watch statement on NHS – Amazon partnership

Responding to news that the NHS has partnered with Amazon to encourage people to seek health advice from Amazon Echo devices, our director Silkie Carlo said:

Encouraging the public to give their private health details to one of the most aggressive corporate data guzzlers is astonishingly misguided. Amazon’s Alexa records what people say, stores recordings in data centres we know nothing about, and exploits our data for profit. This scheme will likely result in people being profiled and targeted by data brokers based on their deeply personal health concerns.

These home surveillance devices are controversial and not widely used. Any public money spent on this awful plan rather than frontline services would be a breathtaking waste. 

Healthcare is made inaccessible when trust and privacy is stripped away, and that’s what this terrible plan would do. It’s a data protection disaster waiting to happen.

 

BBC – Amazon Alexa offering NHS health advice

The Times – Amazon in NHS deal to give patients medical tips

Daily Express – Your Amazon Echo just got a brilliant but controversial new health feature

The Canary – With hospitals in crisis, the government is shovelling even more NHS business to Amazon