Helen O'Connell

3 October 2005
One World Action is an NGO working in London since 1989 for a world free from poverty and oppression in which strong democracies safeguard the rights of all people. I am Head of Policy and Education.

We believe that real change happens when citizens know and exercise their rights.
We provide practical help to organisations committed to improving people’s lives in Africa, Asia and Central America and strengthening the democratic process.  All our programmes are initiated by local people, ensuring that local needs are genuinely understood and met. We reinforce this work on the ground by engaging actively and continuously in policy debates on international development issues, and creating opportunities for our partners from Africa, Asia and Central America to meet face-to-face with European Union and UK policy-makers.
Our partners include voluntary groups, women’s organisations, trade unions, workers’ and community movements.  They work for women’s rights and gender equality.  They promote democratic practice.  They demonstrate good practice in basic service delivery.  They engage in research and advocacy on the political, economic, social and cultural factors relating to poverty. We bring partners face to face with decision-makers and work to change policies that affect the poorest communities.

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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