Finally a “How” in The Guardian!

November 1st, 2006

Wednesday November 1, 2006
The Guardian

Ross Anderson, professor of security engineering at Cambridge University, believes that patients do have legal rights over their medical records: “Write and insist that you are not put on the NHS data spine,” Prof Anderson says. “If enough people boycott having centralised NHS records, with a bit of luck the service will be abandoned.”

If you are concerned, you should discuss it with your GP. You can put a block on your own data by writing to:

The Secretary of State for Health
Richmond House
79 Whitehall Terrace
London SW1A 2NS

And send the same letter to your GP.

It should say:

Dear Sir/ Madam

I require you not to begin processing my sensitive personal data to the proposed NHS Summary Care Record on the Spine. It is likely to cause me substantial unwarranted distress because:

1. No ‘sealed envelopes’ yet exist to limit access

2. No online patient system yet exists to correct errors

3. Data uploaded may include genetic, psychological or sexual information

4. It is intended to make my data available to social workers, researchers and commercial firms

5. My consent will not be asked before beginning processing

6. Adequate criminal penalties against abuse do not yet exist

7. Police and other agencies can gain access to a potentially unlimited range of information about me. There is abundant evidence that computer databases – including police, vehicle licensing and banking computers – are routinely penetrated by private investigators on behalf of clients, including media organisations

8. 250,000 smart cards have been issued granting access to the Spine

9. The department threatens to withhold appropriate medical care to objectors

10. Doctors say there is no necessity to design the Spine in this way

For these reasons, among others, I strongly fear that I am in danger of having false or damaging health information fall into the wrong hands. My privacy is being unnecessarily violated.

Yours faithfully


Via Blogzilla

Personally I think points 5, 7 & 10 are compelling enough reasons for why this scheme is ‘bad news’ and point 2 (implicitly requesting online access) could actually make data safety worse.
Hopefully this means a progression in the mainstream media from the simple reporting of undesirable schemes and legislation into a more robust way of enabling their readers to oppose wayward Statist interventionism.

Now they need to do the same for the looming NIR roll out – and soon.

2 Responses to “Finally a “How” in The Guardian!”

  1. Alun Says:

    ESP. It’s been happening a lot lately. I wonder if it’s on my medical record?

  2. irdial Says:

    Its not ESP, its the 100th Monkey effect.

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