Today in London

7 July 2005

The contrast couldn't be greater. After scenes of jubilation yesterday at the success of our Olympic bid, come scenes of destruction.


openDemocracy is flying at half-mast today. Those of us that have made it into the office are struggling through a normal working day. A lot of us walked in today, some through the centre of the city, witnessing all. One of our interns arrived visibly shaken up by what she'd seen. Family members and former colleagues are keeping the phone lines busy.


I'm trying to leave unanalysed the morbid fascination which is making me refresh this thread over at metafilter every five minutes.

Isabel's just written this first reaction to the bombings and Tom has the Gleneagles response.

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.

By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

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