With the problematic care.data program now thankfully dead, Dr Neil Bhatia turns his attention to current proposals. He writes, in part:
Dame Caldicott’s review says the proposed consent/opt-out model will need to be piloted extensively before being introduced. However the opt-out proposals are potentially open to abuse, if, as suggested, one option is to have ‘NHS’ and ‘research’ choices. It takes little for clever commercial organisations, and their lawyers, to assert that their data grab proposals come under the ‘NHS’ section.
No one is ever going to be able to prevent their information being used by organisations for purposes or research that they find ethically unacceptable, or by organisations that seek to privatise areas of the NHS, or by organisations that already might hold vast amounts of information about you. Many do not want their data to be used, ‘anonymised’ or otherwise, to further the interests of these entities, or in these ways.
No one denies that existing opt-out arrangements are a shambles. Current objections cross-react with each other, so that opting out of one data sharing scheme automatically and unexpectedly opts you out of another.
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