Tuesday, September 26, 2017

GoodRx seeks Data Engineers

I've exchanged barbs with one of the founders of GoodRx on Twitter before. At that time he claimed that GoodRx doesn't sell patients' private and personal information. In fact he was quite adamant about it:

Let me make sure you understand this. The CEO and co-founder of GoodRx (who, by the way, started at Facebook, a free service where YOU are the product) explicitly states that they do NOT make money by selling patient data.

"One thing I can say for sure - its not by selling patient data."

So one has to wonder... why, oh WHY is GoodRx looking to hire data engineers? A recent Google search for "jobs at GoodRx" brought up this position they're looking to fill:

For a company that says they make their money from "ads and referral fees," they're sure interested in having a data analyst on board. If they're truly not selling the personal and private medical information they're obtaining with each adjudicated prescription, why the need for someone to drill into the data and mine it's contents?

I'm telling you again, people, that this company is nothing but bad news. They're liars from the start. When you use GoodRx, YOU are the product. Your information is being obtained, stored, and the data they collect is being SOLD.  


Anonymous said...

On the flip side, if they were being honest, wouldn't they still need data analysts to figure out the prices for various drugs at different pharmacies in a multitude of geographic regions? Look at trends regarding the same? Look at what ads are effective? How to increase their user base?

Anonymous said...

There is a fairly solid line between selling customers data and targetting 3rd party ads at specific groupings of your customers based off of the data you know about them (eg people between 23.2 and 41.7 years old, who take statins, like red m&ms and read E! Online).

GoodRX is probably doing the latter. A Data Analyst can figure out the segments of customer to target at. They then can charge more for those ads as they are better at reaching the target information.

Are they using personal information that they gathered from/about you and making money off of it? You bet! But that is the NOT same as selling your data to other people. The companies buying the add don't know about you individually from GoodRX. Doing so would put GoodRX in HOT, HOT, HOT water given this is healthcare related data.

Companies have been doing this type of thing for ages before the internet. Credit Card mail ads on other companies behalf based on your buying patterns. Magazine companies have been selling you name and interests (the magazine) for ages.

Remember those warranty cards you filled out that for some reason asked you strange questions for a toaster warranty such as if you liked gardening or golfing. The information on those cards are sold to marketing companies to send you junk mail.

Does it feel good that someone makes a profit from you? Not really but companies don't exist to give their services away for free. If not, they go out of business. So if you aren't paying them out of your pocket, they are making money by monetizing your behavior. And like with the warranty cards, sometimes they do both.