Amazon has free rein to NHS data

In its deal with Amazon, the United Kingdom's National Health Service has provided the online retail and technology giant with free access to healthcare information, according to The Guardian.

The NHS partnered with Amazon to allow Alexa devices to offer health advice from certified physicians and pharmacists. With the partnership, Amazon is collecting healthcare information to develop, advertise and sell its own products.

Though Amazon is barred from collecting patient information, documents show the company has access to data on symptoms, causes and definitions of conditions, reports The Guardian.

Amazon said that the information it is gathering can be found on the NHS website.

"Amazon does not build customer health profiles based on interactions with content or use such requests for marketing purposes," the company said in a statement to The Guardian.

A spokesperson for NHS said, "No patient data is being provided to this company by the NHS, which takes data privacy extremely seriously and has put appropriate safeguards in place to ensure information is used correctly," according to The Guardian.

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