A number of security people have come out against Amazon buying One Medical.
It’s to be expected, as most security people are rightly worried about big corporations getting a hold of more personal data. And the timing couldn’t have been worse, with the story about Amazon sharing Ring footage with police only a few weeks old.
"Why is @Amazon acquiring @OneMedical bad news?"— Corey Quinn (@QuinnyPig) July 21, 2022
1. Horizontal integration at Amazon scale of a company that now has the right to access my medical records under HIPAA opens up a huge problem for abuse.
But I have a different take. The opposite, actually.
First, I agree that Amazon sharing footage without permission is sketch. And I expect them to fix that. Soon.
But when I hear something new is bad, I don’t just jump on with everyone else. First I ask how things are currently going. So how about it?
Do you like the current security level for medical records? For small businesses in the medical field? For hospitals? For the government?
I don’t. I think it’s all rubbish. I think medical records are not only broken in terms of interoperability, but so is the security of most of the companies that maintain them.
And here’s the thing—I think the only force that can possibly make that better is someone big enough to actually get security.
If I had to pick a place to put my records I’d go with a company that, say, runs the infrastructure of most of the internet. Like the company that runs AWS. Like Amazon.
I simply don’t see a world in which they decide it’s a good idea to be cavalier with peoples’ medical data. It’s not in their interest. The thing that’s in their interest is being trusted with that data, and doing a good job protecting it.
I don’t like Google’s ad-focused model, but guess what? If they got everyone’s medical data it wouldn’t be that bad either. I’d be more worried than with Amazon, but I think both companies are smart enough to know what to sell and what not to sell.
And when it comes to knowing how to secure their data and products, I’ve not seen many companies better than Amazon.
So that’s my argument: Amazon will be better at securing medical data than One Medical or any other medical startup. And they’re not likely to abuse that power because of how bad it would be for their business.
That’s about to be important, because all the big companies are likely to play there soon. See Apple. And yeah, probably Google as well at some point.
Sign me up. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than whatever it is we have now.