Daily DashboardEuropean Data Protection Digest

Privacy in Question with Health Database

HEALTHCARE PRIVACY—UK

March 8, 2010

Privacy advocates, human rights activists and doctors are voicing concerns about patients' privacy rights in the creation of individual summary care records (SCR), reports The Guardian. Intended to ease information sharing among healthcare providers and potentially improve patient care, the NHS has created 1.24 million SCRs so far and plans to create SCRs for more than 50 million people overall. Concerns abound regarding the security of the records and NHS's "implied consent" method for gaining patient permission to create the SCRs, a method one advocate describes as "inaccessible and virtually meaningless." A Cambridge University security expert worries about accessibility. "You just can't keep a secret if 300,000 people have access to it."
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