Anita Mir

30 September 2005
I am the North Africa and British coordinator for a project to nominate 1000 women for this year's Nobel Peace Prize. I was formerly Features Editor at 'The Frontier Post' in Pakistan where I wrote extensively on human rights issues, with a focus on women and religious minorities. I was a member of Women's Action Forum and a member of the investigative team of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. I have co-edited a book on development and the environment, and prior to beginning my PhD in England - which had as its impetus the use of differently gendered voices in the work of a Catholic Beguine and a Sufi poet - I was Programme Coordinator of an international NGO-Church World Service, for Pakistan/Afghanistan. I am currently writing up my PhD and trying to place my first novel with a publisher.

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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