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The safety and privacy effects of NHS IT Ross Anderson Cambridge University and Foundation for Information Policy Research.

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Presentation on theme: "The safety and privacy effects of NHS IT Ross Anderson Cambridge University and Foundation for Information Policy Research."— Presentation transcript:

1 The safety and privacy effects of NHS IT Ross Anderson Cambridge University and Foundation for Information Policy Research

2 EMIS NUG 21 Sep 2006 The Story so Far … 1910 – struggle over who owns medical records led to Lloyd George envelope 1910 – struggle over who owns medical records led to Lloyd George envelope 1992 – IM&T strategy a single electronic health record available to all throughout the NHS 1992 – IM&T strategy a single electronic health record available to all throughout the NHS BMA resistance 95–6 once we realised what this meant; Security in Clinical Information Systems BMA resistance 95–6 once we realised what this meant; Security in Clinical Information Systems Calman sets up the Caldicott Committee to postpone the issue past the 1997 election Calman sets up the Caldicott Committee to postpone the issue past the 1997 election Caldicott documents many illegal information flows; HSCA s60 allows SS to legalise them Caldicott documents many illegal information flows; HSCA s60 allows SS to legalise them

3 EMIS NUG 21 Sep 2006 The Story so Far (2) Pretexting cost Hewlett-Packard chair her job Pretexting cost Hewlett-Packard chair her job Look back at January 1996 – Anderson RJ, Clinical System Security - Interim Guidelines BMJ pp Look back at January 1996 – Anderson RJ, Clinical System Security - Interim Guidelines BMJ pp N Yorks HA pilot – staff trained by Alan Hassey to log info requests, get them signed off, and call back to a number you can check independently N Yorks HA pilot – staff trained by Alan Hassey to log info requests, get them signed off, and call back to a number you can check independently We detected 30 false-pretext calls per week! We detected 30 false-pretext calls per week! We asked DoH to roll this protocol out nationwide – instead, NYHA were told to stop it! We asked DoH to roll this protocol out nationwide – instead, NYHA were told to stop it!

4 EMIS NUG 21 Sep 2006 The Story so Far (3) Blair moment in 2002 – Tony wants Blair moment in 2002 – Tony wants The 1990s vision of the big central database is dusted off – NPfIT, CfH,… The 1990s vision of the big central database is dusted off – NPfIT, CfH,… Government really believes this is working and they now plan to roll out the same architecture to childcare, elder care, … Government really believes this is working and they now plan to roll out the same architecture to childcare, elder care, … What are the implications for clinical safety and privacy? What are the implications for clinical safety and privacy?

5 EMIS NUG 21 Sep 2006 Issues of Scale You can have functionality, or security, or scale. With good engineering you can have any two of these You can have functionality, or security, or scale. With good engineering you can have any two of these We can live with the risks of a receptionist having access to the 6000 records in a practice – but if 20,000 receptionists have access to 60,000,000 records? We can live with the risks of a receptionist having access to the 6000 records in a practice – but if 20,000 receptionists have access to 60,000,000 records? Secondary Uses Service will run unprotected for years – with a pious hope of eventual pseudonymisation Secondary Uses Service will run unprotected for years – with a pious hope of eventual pseudonymisation Blair philosophy is now that data will be accessible (MISC 31, Information Sharing Vision) Blair philosophy is now that data will be accessible (MISC 31, Information Sharing Vision) Misuse will be punished – pretexters will be liable for prison, though not careless HA staff (DCA CP 9/06) Misuse will be punished – pretexters will be liable for prison, though not careless HA staff (DCA CP 9/06)

6 EMIS NUG 21 Sep 2006 Centralisation and Safety First hospital to be rolled out was the Nuffield Orthopaedic NHS Trust in Oxford First hospital to be rolled out was the Nuffield Orthopaedic NHS Trust in Oxford Old system – X-ray goes from radiology to theatre as a physical object Old system – X-ray goes from radiology to theatre as a physical object New system – its an electronic object sitting on a remote server New system – its an electronic object sitting on a remote server Power failure at server – no operations Power failure at server – no operations Since then, a comms failure in NW Since then, a comms failure in NW The Internet is now a safety-critical system! The Internet is now a safety-critical system!

7 EMIS NUG 21 Sep 2006 Helen Wilkinsons case Helen is a practice manager in High Wycombe Helen is a practice manager in High Wycombe Wrongly listed as a patient of an alcohol treatment centre Wrongly listed as a patient of an alcohol treatment centre She demanded the data be corrected or removed - officials wouldnt / couldnt She demanded the data be corrected or removed - officials wouldnt / couldnt Caroline Flint promised Parliament it had been done Caroline Flint promised Parliament it had been done It hasnt – and the story continues… It hasnt – and the story continues…

8 EMIS NUG 21 Sep 2006 Extending NPfIT to Kids Every Child Matters white paper (2003) Every Child Matters white paper (2003) Children Act 2004 provided powers Children Act 2004 provided powers Information to be shared between schools, police, social workers, probation, doctors… Information to be shared between schools, police, social workers, probation, doctors… The SCR is ISA – the Information Sharing and Assessment system – which points to all services interested in your child The SCR is ISA – the Information Sharing and Assessment system – which points to all services interested in your child So schoolteachers will know if a child is known to social workers / police So schoolteachers will know if a child is known to social workers / police IC study by FIPR (due for release real soon …) IC study by FIPR (due for release real soon …)

9 EMIS NUG 21 Sep 2006 Data quality issues…

10 EMIS NUG 21 Sep 2006 Political Aspects UK law and practice are increasingly at odds with European law and with the practice in Germany, France etc UK law and practice are increasingly at odds with European law and with the practice in Germany, France etc Comment by one observer: UK is on a collision course with Europe Comment by one observer: UK is on a collision course with Europe Eventually something will have to give. Will it be Britains EU membership, the German constitution, or what? Eventually something will have to give. Will it be Britains EU membership, the German constitution, or what?

11 EMIS NUG 21 Sep 2006 Conclusions The approach to personal data management that mutated from the IM&T strategy into the ICRS Spec into NPfIT is undergoing metastasis The approach to personal data management that mutated from the IM&T strategy into the ICRS Spec into NPfIT is undergoing metastasis Secondaries are now growing vigorously in child welfare, with more planned for elder care etc Secondaries are now growing vigorously in child welfare, with more planned for elder care etc If safety and privacy problems cant be tackled honestly in medicine, what hope have the social workers got? If safety and privacy problems cant be tackled honestly in medicine, what hope have the social workers got? Maybe the best hope is a European law case Maybe the best hope is a European law case


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