A reel headache

31 October 2005

Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures (Cinema, Aspirinas E Urubus)
Sunday 30th October, 15.30, Odeon West End 2

On Saturday I got a call from the London Film Festival asking if I had booked tickets for Marcelo Gomes’ new film, Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures. I had and was looking forward to taking a friend. ‘Er, there’s been slight problem…’, I heard. Why were they phoning me? Had I paid online properly? Had they double booked my seats?

It turns out the film reel was stuck in Tel Aviv. 

So...no cinema, no vultures and probably many aspirins for the person who had to phone up every member of a sold-out audience.

(The LFF were very helpful and I was offered a full refund or tickets to a replacement screening. I took the money.)

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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