@Terry 6: Re: "must try harder"
Living abroad, I am not sure what a drop in centre is. It sounds like some sort of social or health support place. But surely, if one is really at significant medical risk, one is at liberty to inform staff oneself, with them being under a duty of confidentiality.
It seems to me that there are several risks with health and other private data being release by the NHS or any other body, e.g.
o Simple right to privacy. e.g. An astoundingly high number of people have genuine mental health problems, including schizophrenia and other difficult ones, that they manage to control with medical and psychological help, usually managing to lead normal, productive lives under the most difficult of conditions most of the time. Imagine if the wrong people got hold of such a person's medical history how they could destroy that person's life, not necessarily with any ill intent.
o the temptation for cash-strapped or just greedy authorities to give ever more under ever easier conditions in return for support and sponsorship by big Pharma or any other commercial entity. People "in authority" have a strong tendency to forget that they are neither better than others nor infallible.
o an increasingly intrusive government using it for "security" or "anti-abuse" or whatever purposes to track people, gain possibly useful information on people, innocent or not.
o insurers for, say, cars private health life insurance or lenders of a mortgage or loan, claiming or getting access. Look at the frequent mistakes by credit agencies now and the devastating effects that can have. Health and other personal data is far more open to abuse and mistakes.
o employers, potential landlords, employment agencies, journalists etc. getting access, legally or illegally (not hard, as the number of newspaper scandals, corrupt policemen and civil servants shows in recent "leaks").
The unthinking commentator at the start of these comments is clearly not in IT nor indeed very well informed, or they would be aware that modern computing techniques can readily combine and analyse disparate data to produce great detail. Of course, one thing those techniques can not do is ensure that the user draws the right conclusions or behaves morally and correctly.
Great Britain is a weird land: people protested long and loudly at the very idea of Identity cards, even simple, basic ones, while being quite happy to use passports, copies of bank statements and utility bills to provide the proof of identity needed for banking, car hire or just to buy a drink or cigarettes. They tolerate the greatest density of private and state cameras and officials filming them with wearable cameras, while the same people object to the public filming them or their buildings and transport.
And now, it is awful how many let themselves be persuaded to allow use of personal data by bodies shown to be unable to manage it and others shown to be compulsive misusers of it because, just like the minorities in the USSR or Nazi Germany or McCarthyite USA, they've got nothing to hide.