Friesch Dagblad, 25 April 2014: 'Medical data not in good hands'
"In recent weeks, the privacy of Dutch citizens when it comes to their medical data has again been in the spotlight. On the initiative of the Civil Rights Protection Foundation and the Privacy First Foundation, an internet campaign was launched for medical privacy. Patients should be given control over their own medical data. For instance, they should decide for themselves which care providers can access their patient records at what time. On the website www.specifieketoestemming.nl people can download a letter to send to their GP or pharmacist, for example, indicating the extent to which medical data may be shared. The organisations are not against sharing medical data, but feel that it cannot be the case that everyone just gives carte blanche so that perhaps 1,000 healthcare providers can view their data.
The organisations' initiative is sensible. It has been said here before: there are serious objections to digitising medical data, the biggest of which is misuse by third parties. Large insurance companies - not just health insurers - would love to have data on people's health backgrounds. This allows them to make predictions about the chances of disease and the level of life expectancy of their customers. Pharmaceutical companies are also eager to get hold of people's medical backgrounds.
The more people get access to my medical data, the more likely it is that things will go wrong. Especially since several studies have indicated that the systems being used are far from foolproof in certain respects. Moreover, there always seem to be people susceptible to temptations, such as money.
All these cases show that our medical data is not doing well. It is time this important matter was raised with politicians. The stakes are too high to do nothing."
Source (full article): http://www.frieschdagblad.nl/index.asp?artID=67304, 25 April 2014.