"It didn't seem like London"

8 July 2005

Louisa Hart, 21, Sales Analyst

"I work right next to Aldgate tube station. Luckily, I was already safe at my desk when the bomb here exploded. At first noone here was sure of what was going on.

We were all viewing the happening from the window. There were hundreds of police, ambulances and fire engines pulling up outside the station. There were also a few unmarked cars with sirens which were making people suspicious about the fact that it was only supposedly a power surge.

After the third bombing we were then asked to stay in the building and all the streets around were closed off.

This morning on my way to work it just didn't seem like I was in London. I walked from Bank to Aldgate and the streets were really empty. The streets are still all closed off and it is extremly quiet around the office. It will take London a while to get back to normal as now anything slightly suspicious is going to be taken as a serious concern."

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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