The government that understands confidentiality

Those of us on FIPR council have been gobsmacked to find that private emails exchanged between us have been read out in both Houses of Parliament, all in an attempt to smear Ross Anderson, FIPR’s Chair and a highly-informed critic of the NHS database plans.

It’s an extraordinary demonstration of the government’s inability to justify this £multi-billion scheme that it has to resort to such desperate, underhand tactics to try and silence any opposition. It also provides a powerful insight into their utter disregard for confidentiality.

There’s more on UK Liberty, Spyblog and Blogzilla.


2 Responses to The government that understands confidentiality

  1. Carlotta says:

    Shocking news, though I guess I should have expected it.

    I recently stayed away from my GP as long as I possibly could, (could this be one of the main purposes of the Spine?) but when a symptom became too severe, I eventually capitulated and sought help. I asked GP what she was typing in, (I could see the word SPINE from where I was sitting) and realised that some highly personal information which I would much rather stayed only in paper notes in one surgery was being put into the system.

    Despite knowing a little bit about it, I was still appalled to the point of silence. Everyone could know my intimate details…I have no illusion. It wasn’t as if the situation was not lax enough just with paper notes. I know this having worked as a practice nurse for a while. Any old Tom, Dick or Harry could end up having access to these notes. Indeed, I managed to see my own notes without anyone else knowing, as I went to do some auditing in my own surgery!

    Next time, should I have to, I shall request that the GP refrain from entering my details on the Spine. Am not sure what sort of reaction I shall meet, but I do feel as if a point has to be made, even at this sort of a level.

  2. David Dreghorn says:

    Having the emails read out is not your biggest worry. Your biggest worry is who is passing on the emails? Is it an insider or are your emails being monitored?

    Not an expert on the SPINE, but I dont think they type the word SPINE into your records. The SPINE will exstract the data, rather than having it sent to it.

    If you are sent for a referal, your data will go via the SPINE. This is because in the future all test, such as blood test, scans, xrays etc must be done via NCRS which forms part of the SPINE (the data will proberbly be sent to SUS by default and you might never be able to stop it).

    Having had experinces of the NHS and so called ‘doctor-patient confidentality’, nothing about privacy, or lack of privacy would suprise me (I have been in practices where unless you are willing to tell all doctors, all nurses and even some admin staff that you were raped/abused, had/have sexual problems, had a termination, have/had an STD/STI or anything else, then you can not obtain help/treatment and you are not allowed to know who knows what about you). Now imagine 400,000 doctors/nurses, researchers, SUS, administrators, Social Sevices, pharmisist and police to name but a few who will have easy direct or indirect access to the SPINE being able to access what they want. Imagin MPs with an inside contact? Imagin getting n the wrong side of the PM?

    My current GP keeps all my records on paper and locked away as keeping it on the practice computer system is less secure and she cant stop her staff reading my info.

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