European Data Protection Digest

Privacy Concerns Abound Over HSCIC Database

HEALTHCARE PRIVACY—UK

January 9, 2014

With all UK households set to receive will leaflets this month from the National Health Service (NHS) explaining “patient data currently held by general practitioners will automatically be uploaded to a central database run by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) unless they specifically opt out of the process,” privacy concerns are being raised, Infosecurity reports. Those concerns include the way the program is being begun and the use of the uploaded data, the report states, noting, the Information Commissioner’s Office has “insisted to the NHS that patients be informed of their right to opt out—and that is the primary role of the leaflet.” But some are concerned it “is designed to cause as few people to opt out as possible."
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