The Queen’s Speech contained an announcement of a new data sharing bill. We’ll have more details shortly, but for now you can find out more by joining the medConfidential newsletter.
The Government, lobbied by vested interests and in its dying days, is trying to sell access to linked census records, raw survey data and the confidential information that businesses are mandated to provide. Buried in an Office for National Statistics consultation about “Approved Researchers” that closes on 29th March is a proposal that would allow commercial companies access to some of the most highly sensitive data held by Government, including the census, the British Crime Survey and mandatorily collected workforce and wage information. Proposal 8 of the consultation begins: “ONS are proposing to allow the speculative analysis of ONS microdata with the intention of making a profit…” This “microdata” is highly sensitive, much of it personal data – which is why the ONS has had to keep it so tightly under lock and key. This isn’t your medical record, but it’s pretty much everything else the Government has, including the Health Survey; it’s all but your name. There’s still time for you as an individual or as an organisation to say no, but you need to act this week: Read more about the proposals and tell your friends For individuals: sign the open letter For businesses or organisations: contact the National Statistician And don’t forget to join our mailing list if you want to be kept informed.