Opting out of the latest NHS data grab (England, not Scotland or Wales)

Jan 16, 2014

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Well, I asked what Ross Anderson would say. From his blog:

European data-protection and human-rights laws demand that we be able to opt out of such things, so the Information Commissioner has told the NHS to inform you of your right to opt out. Needless to say, their official leaflet is designed to cause as few people to opt out as possible. It should really have been drafted like this. (There’s a copy of the official leaflet at the MedConfidential.org website.) But even if it had been, the process still won’t meet the consent requirements of human-rights law as it won’t be sent to every patient. One of your housemates could throw it away as junk before you see it, and if you’ve opted out of junk mail you won’t get a leaflet at all.  Yet if you don’t opt out in the next few weeks your data will be uploaded to central systems and you will not be able to get it deleted, ever.

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Post by Jonathan Rees

Clinical academic and skin watcher at the University of Edinburgh

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