Thursday, March 11, 2010

Trust has to be earned

I got a letter today from Medway NHS about the Summary Care Record which is a secure electronic summary of crucial health information which could make a major difference to my care if I'm unable to tell NHS staff the details myself.

I suspect they will fool a lot of people into opting into it by default, as opting out requires downloading a form and taking it along to your local GP (by June 10th 2010)  telling them not to bother putting you on it.

Personally I'll be opting out for the simple reason I don't trust the government and by proxy the NHS with my personal data either from abuse or simply just leaving it for anyone to find on a bus, train, taxi or landfill site.

Telegraph. 2007 figures
A record 37 million items of personal data went missing last year, new research reveals.
Most of the data was lost by government officials but councils, NHS trusts, banks, insurance companies and chain stores also mislaid or published personal information about staff or members of the public.
Many losses were caused through CDs going missing in the post, laptop thefts, and inadequate security systems that failed to stop hackers reading information stored on computers.
The details lost included those of names, addresses, passports, bank and mortgage accounts, credit cards, hospital records, dates of birth, national insurance numbers, driving licences and telephone numbers.

Data Loss Examples in 2008:

NHS: The NHS lost a lot of data in 2008, with a selection of examples below:
Sooner or later you'll all get a letter like this, it's up to you as to whether or not you trust them, personally I don't and I'd reccomend you don't give them the data either.

And what's with the having to download the opt out form? Some people don't have internet access still. Sounds like a con to make sure we all sign up regardless.

Trust has to be earned, quite frankly they can't be trusted if past efforts are anything to go on.

    5 annotations:

    tris said...

    It's a hard one QM. It is dangerous to give any state owned organisation your details for the reasons that you lay out....On the other hand, if you have allergies, or you're on any medication that is important to you, to keeping you alive, or comfortable, it may be better to take the risk....

    Like I say, it's a hard one.

    James Higham said...

    Would anyone trust the government with his/her data now?

    Malthebof said...

    Contrary to data protection act government depts share information. Thus you are stopped by the police for a routine matter, and the sergeant asks 'and is the viagra working Mr Smith'?
    Do not trust the bastards

    Anonymous said...

    With you all the way, QM. Great blog, by the way.

    opsimath said...

    If you allow your SCR to be uploaded to the 'Spine', it will, by the little spoken of Secondary Uses, be available to every ambulance attendant, pharmacy assistant, dentist's receptionist and optician.

    Do you really want these people idly leafing through the private details of your health history?

    Do you believe that the 'secure smart card' will be in the bottom drawer of sister's desk and the 'unique password' written at the bottom of her white-board? You don't? Then I have about 8 000 tons of scrap steel I'd like to sell you - you might know it by its former name, the Eiffel Tower.

    Resist, resist, resist.