This is turning into a slow-motion political train wreck,
with the care.data scandal
and the revelation
that the hospital episode statistics data sold to numerous companies
contained patient postcodes and dates of birth,
so the anonymity claims were simply false.
UK government departments and their agents store reams of personal information about us. They have to, to do their job.
That data is kept confidential. There are certain uses to which it can legitimately be put. Beyond that – verboten.
There are always poachers circling the game reserve. Most recently, it was Stephan Shakespeare. Then Tim Kelsey. And then David Gauke.
They all want to make more personal data available to researchers or entrepreneurs, to improve policy-making, to improve administration, to stimulate growth in the economy or to make medical break-throughs.
It is questionable whether any of those objectives would be achieved.