Opinion: Unreliable polls

16 June 2005

Driving around Tehran, you'll see Rafsanjani 'supporters' are everywhere. But things are not how they look like.

Many of these young boys and girls on the streets are not going to vote Rafsanjani. He is just an excuse for them to gather and have fun. The same way they gather during religious Shia festivals for Imam Hossein. They look like they are genuinely interested in what they do, but if you start talking to them, you'd see they are probably checking out hot girls and boys behind you.

Along the same lines, polls are usually not reliable when it comes to Rafsanjani. Best example was sixth parliamentary elections in which he was at worst among the top five, but ended up in 30th place.

I believe one third of survey respondents lie about who they are going to vote for. Rafsanjani's name is enough to scare many ordinary Iranians. They think they'd be in trouble if their answers were not what they guessed the interviewee wanted. They are amazing actors in this game.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

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