Police have unlimited warrantless access to Americans' medical records via Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid and other pharmacies

U.S pharmacy chains such as Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid provide police warrantless access to customers' medical records, reports Ars Technica. Some don't even have legal professionals review the requests, because "pharmacy staff face extreme pressure to immediately respond to law enforcement demands," and there's no mystery about what that pressure often entails.

They include the seven largest pharmacy chains in the country: CVS Health, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Cigna, Optum Rx, Walmart Stores, Inc., The Kroger Company, and Rite Aid Corporation. The lawmakers also spoke with Amazon Pharmacy.All eight of the pharmacies said they do not require law enforcement to have a warrant prior to sharing private and sensitive medical records, which can include the prescription drugs a person used or uses and their medical conditions. Instead, all the pharmacies hand over such information with nothing more than a subpoena, which can be issued by government agencies and does not require review or approval by a judge.Three pharmacies—CVS Health, The Kroger Company, and Rite Aid Corporation—told lawmakers they didn't even require their pharmacy staff to consult legal professionals before responding to law enforcement requests at pharmacy counters. According to the lawmakers, CVS, Kroger, and Rite Aid said that "their pharmacy staff face extreme pressure to immediately respond to law enforcement demands and, as such, the companies instruct their staff to process those requests in store."

This is a "no, not my face!" classic for the boomers most obviously exposed to this attack surface. But otherwise about as grim as it gets, the dead center of a venn diagram of unrestrained police powers, medical vulnerability and corporate compliance.