Selling my Data Down the River

I read today that details of my last hospital admission have been sold by the NHS to a private marketing company along with the records of 99,999,999 other patients.

Ok so my address and name were removed, but the Health & Social Care Information Centre admits there is a possibility that patients could be identified as “there remains a small risk of re-identification if data is put together with other data sources”. That’s alright then. Let’s rely on the morals of commercial companies just not to do that, shall we?

I thought a fundamental principle of the data protection act was that individuals would know who holds personal data and what it will be used for. Strangely, I can’t remember signing a consent form for this. No wonder I get spam emails and marketing phone calls from people who seem to know more about me than I do. It’s about time the toothless Information Commissioner took serious action where it counts and stopped the use of medical records fo r anything other than direct patient care.

I give my GP personal information in confidence so he can use it to help me, not help a drug company develop its profits. Where has the money gone from this? Not to my GP anyway.


Comments

Josue 04/08/2015

Other than the cost, for a person like me it's not worth it. I'm helhtay, other than my yearly physical/checkup, I end up paying more for insurance than I would just paying every time I see the doctor out-of-pocket. The downside is if I were to get injured, or get some kind of disease by chance, then I would be screwed with medical bills for years and years to come.


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