back to article NHS England's release of 'details' on access to Palantir COVID-19 data store: Good enough? We're in a 'dialogue' says national data watchdog

The National Data Guardian declined to endorse NHS England's effort to be transparent with its recently published detail on data flows from a patient medical information project that put US spy-tech firm Palantir at the heart of the government's response to the pandemic. The COVID-19 data store was launched in March 2020, and …

  1. nematoad Silver badge
    FAIL

    Don't think so.

    "...my panel and I will continue our ongoing dialogue with NHS England and NHS Improvement"

    I'll take that as a no, then.

    If the NHS has been fully transparent then what is all the talking about?

  2. Mike Richards Silver badge

    'my panel and I will continue our ongoing dialogue with NHS England and NHS Improvement'

    Maybe the title 'Guardian' is overselling their capabilities? I don't want data protection authorities to have a dialogue with an organisation that is clearly seeking to hide its activities. It should be a monologue from the regulator telling them that they are going to comply.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: 'my panel and I will continue our ongoing dialogue with NHS England and NHS Improvement'

      Unfortunately, the legislation says that the Guardian "may" give advice and that the relevant care providers should "have regard" to the guidance given.

      Also The Secretary of State may remove the Data Guardian from office if satisfied that he or she is unable, unwilling or unfit to perform the functions of the Data Guardian.

      The Data Guardian does not appear to have any specific enforcement powers directly over the bodies concerned.

  3. oiseau Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Sad state of affairs

    ... detail on data flows from a patient medical information project that put US spy-tech firm Palantir at the heart of the government's response ...

    Hmm ...

    UK patient's medical information handled by a US spy-tech firm in cahoots with the government*?

    What's there to worry about?

    O.

    *UK's PM and his band of chummies

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dissemination

    Downvote magnet ahoy.

    What counts as dissemination?

    1) If everything is access via Foundry, and all analytics / reporting take place in that system has there been dissemination of that data?

    2) If the data extracted from the system is aggregate figures (the like used in dashboards), has any data held in the system been disseminated?

    If the answer to the above 2 are no and no it is very easy for heavy use to be made of the system and have very low reporting of disseminations. More interesting would be how many parties have accessed the system, and what volumes of data have they been looking at.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Dissemination

      What if logging has not been implemented yet...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NHS Data skills

    "the flagship data project is either "largely useless" or NHS England is "dishonest" because it is refusing to tell people about access to the data, Smith said.

    "I suspect it is more the latter than the former. That's not a good thing," he told The Register."

    I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the first option

    1. Eguro

      Re: NHS Data skills

      Perhaps true, but that seems an even worse admission to have to make from the providers.

      That might be what's causing the delay, they are trying to work out which response is cheaper.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: NHS Data skills

        Delay just makes the cost rise to astronomical levels, and increases the risk of personal consequences for those involved - contempt of court is a real thing

    2. hammarbtyp Silver badge

      Re: NHS Data skills

      Is there an "all of the above" option?

  6. JohnMurray

    Government has been so underhand and so elusive, about any and all of its attempts to hand over patient data to practically anyone that asks for it, that the only conclusion is that they can not be trusted AT ALL with ANY control of confidential personal patient data.

    No doubt there have been several bungs of cash into various govt ministers bank accounts [offshore]

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "National Data Guardian"

    sounds a bit more formal than "Chocolare Fireguard".

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Palantir......(aka Slurp Central).......

    Privacy?

    *

    GDPR?

    *

    ......with Peter Thiel front and centre?

    *

    Take a look: https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2018-palantir-peter-thiel/

  9. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "People have the right to a say in what happens to their personal health information"

    I wish you the best of luck with that.

    Palantir has the data and you have no control over that.

  10. MatthewSt
    FAIL

    Bandwidth?

    To have your SQL server hosted on one cloud and your processing tier on another is just nuts! Higher latency _and_ higher cost, as well as doubling your potential points of failure...

    1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

      Re: Bandwidth?

      But at least twice as many noses at the trough ...

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