European Data Protection Digest

Oxford Researchers: Patients Misled About Privacy

HEALTHCARE PRIVACY—UK

February 4, 2011

Oxford University researchers say patients are not being adequately informed about possible secondary uses of their medical data for research, Computerworld reports. In a paper published yesterday in the British Medical Journal, the researchers also assert that patients are "misled about the level of anonymisation of their data and the likelihood of re-identification." Their paper, "The limits of anonymisation in NHS data systems," questions whether health data can be kept confidential in an age of data collection and sharing, the report states, and discusses what the researchers describe as the "increasing commercialization of patient data."
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