Protect the Right to Erase Data After COVID 19 Crisis is Over

Protect the Right to Erase Data After COVID 19 Crisis is Over

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Martin Keatings started this petition to UK Parliament and

According to the Register, Britons will not be able to ask NHS admins to delete their COVID-19 contact-tracking data from government servers at the end of the COVID 19 Crisis

The new COVID 19 track and trace app is being designed by NHSX to allow easier tracking of people for the purposes of identifying COVID 19 hotspots and reducing the potential for a sudden surge in cases. However, the chief executive of the NHS's digital wing, Matthew Gould has admitted to MPs on the 4th of May 2020 that patients will likely not have the right to delete their tracking data at the end of the COVID 19 crisis.

Gould also told Parliament's Human Rights Committee that data harvested from Britons through NHSX's COVID-19 contact tracing app would be "pseudonymised" - and appeared to leave the door open for that data to be sold on for "research".

In response to questions from SNP MP Joanna Cherry, Gould told MPs:

"The data can be deleted for as long as it's on your own device."

"Once uploaded all the data will be deleted or fully anonymised with the law, so it can be used for research purposes."

Although Gould said the NHSX app would auto-delete contact data that isn't uploaded to government servers, he stated:

"If data has been shared by choice with the NHS, then it can be retained for research in the public interest or by the NHS for planning and delivering services, obviously in line with the law and on the basis of the necessary approvals by law."

HOWEVER pseudonymisation of data has been proven to be systematically flawed and proven to be easily overcome, allowing the identification of people even though randomised. Researchers from Harvard University published a paper in 2015 claiming a 100 per cent success rate in de-anonymising patients from their supposedly anonymised healthcare data in South Korea.

 

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We the undersigned state categorically that we classify any attempt to use data from the app for any means, other than tracking and tracing COVID 19 to be a violation of our fundamental right to privacy guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights and further consider it to be a violation of the Human Rights Act.

We demand that parliament institute primary legislation with respect to the app which will allow any person to formally "opt-out" of data being retained after the COVID 19 crisis OR used for any means other than the tracking and tracing of COVID 19. 

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