CVS, Walgreens urged to disclose how they are using vaccine seekers' data for marketing efforts

The Massachusetts attorney general penned a letter May 3 to CVS, Walgreens, Costco and other pharmacies asking them to disclose their data collection practices on people seeking COVID-19 vaccines and their connection to marketing efforts. 

Massachusetts AG's letter comes after reports surfaced in March that retail pharmacy chains had been using the data collected from millions of customers who sign up for COVID-19 vaccines to tailor their marketing efforts and promote their stores and services.

"Access to life-saving vaccines should not be conditioned on a consumer's consent to provide personal data not necessary for the vaccination administration," wrote Sara Cable, the state AG office's data privacy chief. "Nor can consent to such data collection or marketing be presumed based on a consumer's desire to obtain a vaccination."

The office provided a list of clarifications it is seeking from the pharmacies, including how the companies are using the data and what disclosures they are making to consumers.

Here is the list of pharmacies the office addressed the letter to:

  • CVS Health
  • Walgreens
  • Walmart
  • Costco Wholesale
  • Albertsons Companies
  • Rite Aid
  • Retail Business Services
  • Topco Associates

Click here to view the letter.


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