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Received a fancy letter from the good old National Health Service this last week which got the good old mind of Kennedy whirring.
If you’re a fellow UK resident you’ll know that the idea is to collate all of your allergies, bad reactions you’ve had to medication and medicines you’re currently taking. This information will be stored in a central database that means emergency services can access the information quickly to make sure they give complimentary treatment and have a generally better understanding of your health-related stuff.
At first it sounds like a nice idea. However something came to mind this morning that means I’ll be opting out of this new fangled service.
The fact that all of this data will be stored in one central place gives opportunities to naughty boys and girls who wish hard on us (I tried not to use the word terrorists there) to hack the systems and play God with our health.
Imagine the turmoil if someone was able to get in and change around people’s allergies, medications and the likes. The danger of course is not limited to terror, but also to human error. Just look at the mess the Inland Revenue and Customs made of people’s tax codes. Surely if errors can be made in our country’s national revenue, which is something they really care about, then our health records are also subject to mistakes.
The biggest concern of course is that these databases could be held hostage and force our leaders in to making terrible decisions in exchange for evil schemers from trashing these kinds of vulnerable databases.
Of course security will be tight on the thing, but truth be told – anything can be hacked.
The final thing that was upsetting about the NHS Summary Care Record is that it is an OPT OUT system, not an opt in. Which means if you don’t return your letter to say “no thanks, I’d rather not be included” then you’ll automatically be added to the database.
I think a lot of people have overlooked much of this, so lets bring as much attention to it as possible, whether you Digg this blog, link to it on facebook or just tell people about the dangers yourself. I think awareness is key.