Monday, December 24, 2007

NHS dive down the ID card rabbit hole

The NHS have joined in the data loss fun with the rest of the UK government, and this morning the head of the NHS, David Nicholson, was on the BBC Today programme. The presenter asked the head of the NHS: "Can we trust you with our personal medical data?"

Head of the NHS: "Yes, absolutely"

Given the, just admitted, loss of over 160,000 records this response demonstrates astonishing naivety. This same naivety which is holding open the door for the national ID card system is leading the NHS to create a centralised (physically distributed but logically whole) repository of medical records for everyone in the UK.

Mr. Nicholson went on and on about the technical protection measures that would be put in place, but failed to address the greatest current and future problem - people. Almost all of the recent data losses were down to either mistakes, manipulation or malice on the part of individuals.

Of course, blindly trusting in technology is pretty daft too, but I bet the IT companies that stand to make billions from the NHS can give David a nice warm fuzzy feeling about that.

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