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German election blog

16 August 2005
It seems appropriate to announce the launch of Michael Naumann's election blog from Germany where I have been for the past week. Election posters are hanging everywhere in the streets of Berlin. My German is nowhere near good enough to make sense of the newspapers, and I'm looking forward to his insights. Naumann is editor and publisher of Die Zeit. In 2003 he wrote a short-lived column on openDemocracy which was immensely popular. Check his new blog regularly from now until September 18. Already his first post is jam-packed with information. And murder x 9...

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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