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Davis criticises Tory health record proposals

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Former shadow home secretary David Davis has criticised Conservative proposals to allow health records to be stored online by Google or Microsoft.

Earlier this month reports emerged that the Conservatives were examining such measures as an alternative to centrally held care records - a key part of Labour's £12.7bn National Programme for IT.

In a speech in April, David Cameron also mentioned the measures as a possible alternative to the central database.

But this morning The Times published a forcefully-written opinion piece from Davis pouring cold water on the proposals.

Davis left the Tory frontbench to fight a by-election on the issue of civil liberties and the encroachment of what he calls the "database state" – effectively sacrificing a Cabinet position should the Conservatives win an election next year.

Although Davis says that private companies are better than the state at handling personal information because of the fear of litigation, he argues that Google is unreliable.

"What was proposed was both dangerous in its own right, and hazardous to the public acceptability of necessary reforms to the state’s handling of our private information," wrote Davis. "Google is the last company I would trust with data belonging to me."

The article goes on to highlight Google's privacy record, the danger of a private company using the information for profit, and the necessity of the information being held within the UK.

The Conservatives have asked the British Computer Society to review the NHS IT programme and it will report later this summer.
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Home>World news>Davis criticises Tory health record proposals
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