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Afternoon at the UN

17 September 2005
Mail1

I wasn't able to be here in the morning, and now, on the afternoon of the last day of the Summit the press have begun wheeling their equipment out of here. Do they know they will be missing out on the photo opportunity with the Secretary-General and the President of Gabon at 17:15?

The General Assembly continues today with more and more presidential addresses, and today I am watching it on television monitors in the press room. It will hardly be news to anyone who's ever attended a press conference, but let me tell you the real thing is very different from what you read in the newspapers.

Mail2

Yesterday's address by Israel (small important country) was as scarcely attended as all the others. Yet, today's New York Times article describes it as a momentous event. I don't dispute that. It's just strange how history in the making is more apparent when you read it in the paper the next day.

(Can you believe the GA audience were just asked to be quiet out of respect for the speakers? So unruly.) (Photos are from my cellphone, press room and General Assembly)

 

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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