The National Health Service (NHS) in Great Britain has taken steps to pull together private patient information regarding cholesterol numbers, pulse rate, family health history, and smoking and drinking habits into a central database for analysis.
Called the “Everyone Counts” initiative, the program requires General Practitioners (GPs) to hand over records on their patients without telling the patients first.
As news of this program has seeped out to the public, the outcry has been enormous.
Ross Anderson, professor of Security Engineering at Cambridge University, said: “It is unbelievable how little the public is being told about what’s going on, while GPs are being strong-armed into handing over details about their patients [without] making a fuss.”
Although those behind the Everyone Counts program say the information will only be pooled for analysis and then discarded, GPs are “required to send monthly updates on their patients to a central database.”
How can you update discarded information?