Discussion on Targeting in the UK using the National Health Service

UK patients are outraged over whether the government NHS (National Health Service) data base was used to find individual cancer patients and pressure them to vote for the Labour party.  See article here.

Even if NHS data was not used, CLEARLY there is enough commercial data for sale in both Britain and the US for cancer victims’ addresses to be found and re-identified.

Allowing the secret US data mining industries that steal, collect, aggregate, and sell all Americans’ sensitive personal health information, health-related searches, health-related posts on social websites, email about health, and health-related purchases to continue doing business-as-usual is a prescription for disaster.

It’s a key reason we are seeking 500,000 people to sign the Do Not Disclose list. If Congress gets 500,000 signatures, they will pass a law to restore our control over our digital health records and set up the list.

Don Berwick MD, President Obama’s nominee to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, agrees that health information should belong to patients—and doctors should have to ask us to see it. See his article on patient empowerment: What ‘Patient-Centered’ Should Mean.

Yes, it’s illegal for employers and banks to use health information—but if they have it, they can use it—and there is no way to stop them.

We should be able to stop anyone from getting our health information. A national Do Not Disclose list would ensure we decide who sees our health information and who doesn’t.

It’s time to prevent corporations and government from being able to get our sensitive health information without consent. Sign the Do Not Disclose list!

Quotes:

  • “The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats have attacked the Labour Party for sending “alarmist” literature to cancer patients, and called for an inquiry into whether NHS databases had been used to identify recipients. The row erupted after Labour sent cancer patients mailshots saying that their lives may be at risk under a Conservative government.”
  • “Experian, the data management company, confirmed that both Labour and the Conservatives use its Mosaic database, which divides voters into 67 groups. The databases can use anonymised hospital statistics, including postcodes and the diagnoses of patients, to identify the likely addresses of those with particular illnesses.”

UK: Labour [Party] attacked over mailshot to cancer patients

The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats have attacked the Labour Party for sending “alarmist” literature to cancer patients, and called for an inquiry into whether NHS databases had been used to identify recipients.

The row erupted after Labour sent cancer patients mailshots saying that their lives may be at risk under a Conservative government.

Andrew Lansley, the Shadow Health Secretary, said: “It is shameful that the Labour Party, knowing that we are the only party that is going to increase investment in the NHS, have decided to deliberately scare patients and misrepresent what we have said.

PPR responds to NHS sending patient information to India

In response to article: NHS sends confidential patients’ records to India despite pledges it would not

In the US, the use of “cloud computing” for sensitive electronic health information creates EXACTLY the same dangers that British health records are exposed to in India: hundreds or thousands of staff can access and sell health records.
Quotes:

  • “Indian data entry staff will have access to the names, addresses and NHS numbers of patients – along with private information about medical appointments.”
  • “The risks of transferring data overseas were highlighted last year when undercover reporters for a TV programme were able to buy health records from a private London hospital, which had been processed in India. The sellers said they had access to thousands of British medical records.”

It is impossible to ensure ironclad security for health data in far-away nations –actually we don’t yet have a way to be sure that health data in America has ironclad security protections in place either. And it’s impossible to hold cloud servers in other countries liable for the theft, sale, or breach of privacy of your health data—which they probably NOT report to us anyway. Which nation’s cloud servers would you trust with your sensitive health records?

NHS sends confidential patients’ records to India despite pledges it would not

The NHS is sending millions of patient records to India for processing, it emerged yesterday.

In the latest privacy scandal to hit the Health Service, Indian data entry staff will have access to the names, addresses and NHS numbers of patients – along with private information about medical appointments.

Managers have given the green light to the scheme despite concerns over poor security at some Indian companies.