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Windows on Uzbekistan

19 May 2005

The world is still scrambling for a window on the mounting conflict in Uzbekistan - not just what's going on but why. At our morning meeting today, the previous night's editon of the BBC's Newsnight was a topic of discussion: reporter Tim Whewell had travelled away from Andijan to the border town of Korasuv, where a disaffected people had driven out authorities and were ruling for themselves. This morning, however, reports surfaced that the town had been taken back by force. I for one will be watching Tim's second report, due to be broadcast at 21:30 GMT.

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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