Friday, April 2, 2010...8:30 am

Why I will probably opt out of the new NHS database

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I just got my notification of the rollout of the shiny new NHS health record database. It also kindly offered me the chance to opt out (only because it was required to by our pesky data protection laws, I suspect).

Hmm. What to do.

Well, it sounds like a great idea that will save me aggravation and make it easier for the NHS to treat me. And the government will take good care of my personal information. It says so in the letter:

“Strict security measures will be in place at all times”

So that’s alright. Let’s just double check how secure government data is generally.

UK’s families put on fraud alert
Two computer discs holding the personal details of all families in the UK with a child under 16 have gone missing.

Government’s record year of data loss
A record 37 million items of personal data went missing last year, new research reveals.

Another UK Government Data Breach
Britain’s Ministry of Defence has announced that a stolen laptop has put the personal details of 600,000 at risk.

Yet another major UK Government data loss
A contractor, PA Consulting, working for the UK’s Home Office lost a memory stick that contained the unencrypted confidential records of 130,000 UK criminals.

British Government computer system shut down after data breach
The latest data breach saw a memory stick containing details of 12 million people found outside a pub.

Personal details sent to the wrong family in data security breach
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has found The Highland Council to be in breach of the Data Protection Act after personal data relating to several members of one family was inadvertently disclosed to another unrelated individual.

Gosh, I don’t know – what do you think?

Apparently the Tories have considered getting either Google or Microsoft to host the files instead. It’s a mark of how incompetent governments are generally that I’m almost persuaded this is a good thing…

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