All your care data belongs to us?

I have been looking into the health care data sharing thing in the UK a while ago but to be honest got distracted by the mass surveillance uncovering from Edward Snowden’s leaks. Luckily the Open Rights Group is keeping their watchful eyes on this issue along with many others.

I’m still making up my mind and reading about the positives and negatives, to see if I should opt out. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a public person for many things but certain things I like to keep private. I’m still learning more but I had planned to join one of the Open Right Group’s mass opt out meetups to understand a little more.

However Stefan Magdalinsk just launched #FaxYourGP.

We’re a very small group of volunteers who think it should be very easy for people to opt out of the new NHS care.data centralised database of medical records. Unless you opt out now, care.data will soon store the medical records of everyone in England, yours included, in one giant database. Our confidential health information will then be shared with companies and other public bodies.

Some people we respect think care.data is, on balance, a good thing.

Some people we respect think care.data is, on balance, a bad thing.

What we know for certain is that the NHS hasn’t made it easy for you to exercise your right to opt out. We think this really isn’t wise. The NHS leaflet explaining care.data says you should ‘let your GP know’ if you want to opt out. But GP surgeries are busy. If you ring up wanting to opt out they’ll ask you to write to them instead. That’s fair enough – their priority is treating the sick. It’s 2014. The NHS really should have made it easy to opt out via the web.

And thats the point really… Choice! It should be a educated choice not forced upon us.

As I weigh everything up, you can opt out really quickly using Stefan’s service and the envelope below. As Tim would say, Amazeballs…



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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

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