Author Topic: NO2ID Newsletter No 151  (Read 810 times)

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Offline Margie

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NO2ID Newsletter No 151
« on: June 18, 2010, 02:36:00 pm »
(Minus groups news)

++ NO2ID Supporters' Newsletter No. 151 - 17th June 2010 ++

Both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats said in opposition that they would either scrap or radically overhaul the NHS Summary Care Record (SCR) - a system which threatens medical confidentiality, an issue on which NO2ID has been campaigning for several years [1].

Despite the coalition's agreement saying "We will put patients in charge of making decisions about their care, including control of their health records", new Health Minister Simon Burns recently announced in a buried Parliamentary answer that uploads to the SCR system will continue.

Those who do not respond to a single letter about 'Changes to your health records' by obtaining, completing and delivering to their doctor a separate opt-out form will be taken to have given irrevocable consent for their personal health details to be uploaded and shared through the centralised system. Once viewed a single time, your record will never be deleted.

Almost 30 million of these letters have now been sent, but research about to be published shows that some 88% of people sent a letter had either "thrown them away unread or could not remember receiving them". That's up to 26 million people who might not know that they were losing their one chance to make an important privacy choice.

Since 2006, NO2ID has encouraged people to opt out of SCR if they want to and provided a simple mechanism to do it. Hundreds of thousands have opted out.

Recently we asked you to write to your MPs to ask them to urge the Secretary of State to halt SCR uploads. Thousands of you did - thank you.

Now we're asking you to write to your MP again.

The simplest way to do this is by e-mail via and our request is simple - please write *now* and ask your MP to sign Early Day Motion 186, available online here:

It may not look like much, but it's important. This is an EDM being used for a real Parliamentary purpose - a chance for backbenchers to say, "Hang on, we stood for office on this platform and now you are doing something opposite in the first month? What's going on?"

More than that, it is a chance for the Commons to ask that the government keeps an election promise made by both coalition partners, which it seems to have reversed.

We're not saying there should never be such a thing as an electronic health record [2]. We're not even asking for SCR to be scrapped immediately (though people would be safer if it was). We're just asking that all uploads be halted NOW, and that no-one else's personal health details be put at risk.

Please act now. And pass this newsletter on to your friends, family and colleagues - many of whom could be affected.
1) NO2ID helped launch the NHS Confidentiality campaign which won the right for patients to opt out back in 2006.

2) NO2ID is not against the concept of an electronic healthcare record, but we absolutely oppose what is being done with the Summary Care Record. If you'd like to know why SCR is such a bad idea - it may help you when writing to your MP - please read:
What just happened?

+ ID documents bill 2nd reading debate +
On 9th June the Identity Documents Bill had its Second Reading in the House of Commons. The second reading debate is the first opportunity for MPs to discuss the bill and (usually) vote on whether they agree with it in principal. Introducing the bill, Home Secretary Theresa May said: "The national identity card scheme represents the worst of government".  May went on to confirm that ID cards for foreign nationals (also now
known as biometric residency permits) will not be scrapped. Effectively this means that as things stand much of the infrastructure of the IDscheme will remain - making it relatively simple to re-instate in the future. On the issue of the foreign nationals permits/id cards Pete Wishart MP asked "Why keep an element of a discredited scheme?" and urged the government to "do away with the whole scheme". Much of the debate seemed like a replay of the many debates during the passage of Identity Cards bill itself. One new feature though was that NO2ID was mentioned no fewer than nine times, perhaps most surprisingly by the ID scheme's father David Blunkett MP who after congratulating NO2ID and others, went on to say: "That they were wrong should not mislead us into misunderstanding what can happen in a vigorous democracy, and how
careful we have to be in explaining our intentions and taking on arguments openly." Former and now shadow Home Secretary Alan Johnson MP announced that the Labour opposition would not vote against the bill and went on to "urge the Government to rethink this expensive, misguided and spiteful little Bill". The bill passed its second reading unopposed and will next enter its committee stage.  Read the transcript at
Watch the debate at

+ Final report on ID cards for young people website +
Back in 2008 the Labour government set up a website called mylifemyid to supposedly sell ID cards to young people. A report has been obtained under the Freedom of Information Act that reveals just how half baked an idea the website really was. Amongst other things the report reveals that the government placed 50 million adverts on Facebook and other social network sites, and that these adverts resulted in just 537 people completing the survey on the site!  See and

+ Motion targets Summary Care Records U-turn +
As detailed above a new Early Day Motion (EDM) has been introduced in the House of Commons that calls on the government to "halt all SCR updates, effective immediately, pending its promised comprehensive review of NHS IT systems". EDM 186 was introduced by Julian Huppert MP, a new LibDem MP, objecting to the coalition reversing its position on the NHS Summary Care Records upload. The government's u-turn was
revealed on 3rd June (see 3a.167.h).  Read the motion at
What's next?

*+ ID Documents Bill Committee issues call for evidence +*
Do you have relevant expertise and experience or a special interest in the Government's Identity Documents Bill? If so, you can submit you rviews in writing to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee which is going to consider this Bill over the next few weeks. Contact details for the Scrutiny Unit are as follows: Gosia McBride, Deputy Head
(Legislation), Scrutiny Unit, 7 Millbank, London, SW1P 3JA. Telephone: 020 7219 8383/8387, Fax: 020 7219 8381, Email:  Submissions should not exceed 3,000 words.  See

*+ 29th June - 8th July - Identity Documents Bill Committee Stage +*
The Identity Documents Bill will be committed to a Public Bill Committee shortly following its 2nd reading in the House of Commons on 9th June. The committee is due to conclude its scrutiny of the bill by 8th July.Follow the bill's progress at

*+ 24th July - Open Rights Group Conference +*
On Saturday 24th July The Open Rights Group (ORG) will be holding the ORGCon conference in London. The event is describe as "the first ever conference dedicated to digital rights in the UK". Top of the agenda at ORGCon is tackling the Digital Economy Act and the new Government. Also in the agenda will be a discussion 'Dismantling the Database State' with speakers including Phil Booth (NO2ID), Terry Dowty (ARCH) and Alex Deane (Big Brother Watch).
Location: College Building, City University London, St John St, London EC1
Tickets and further details:

*+ 'Erasing David' screenings +*
The producers of Erasing David - the new documentary about privacy, surveillance and the database state - are offering NO2ID groups and supporters the chance to hold screenings of your own *before* the retail launch of the DVD. If you, or a supportive organisation for which you work or volunteer, would like to show the film to an audience in a club, community centre, school or elsewhere then you can get a (paid) license to do so from the Good Screenings website ( Please note: you will need to ensure that the venue you are using also has the appropriate
Premises License. More information and advice on organising screenings in NO2ID's Erasing David campaign pack update, which you can download from here: *

**+ 'Voices of Freedom' Debate Series +*
The Free Society, an offshoot of the smokers' lobby group Forest, new programme of events entitled 'Voices of Freedom: The Battle Against Big Government' continue in London on 24th and 29th June. Hosted by The Free Society in association with the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), the Adam Smith Institute, Big Brother Watch, The Manifesto Club and Liberal Vision, debate subjects will include 'The Freedom (Great Repeal) Bill', 'Big Government is Watching You', 'Can a Big Society be a Free Society?', 'Hyper-Regulation and the Bully State'; and 'Who Holds the Liberal Torch in 2010?'. Speakers will include NO2ID's national coordinator Phil Booth and general secretary Guy Herbert. Each debate will run from 7.00-8.00pm, preceded by a drinks reception from 6:00pm, at the IEA, 2 Lord North Street, Westminster SW1. For further information and full list of speakers go to
"ID" in the news

*+ SCR evaluation finds few benefits - eHealth Insider 17/6/10 +*
The final report of a three year evaluation of the Summary Care Record has found that it has yet to deliver significant benefits.

*+ Freedom - but not for all - Institute of Race Relations 17/6/10 +*
The government's much vaunted freedom agenda entrenches a two-tier system of rights, with migrants and other unpopular minorities largely excluded.

*+ Did ID card applications surge after scheme was scrapped? – The Register 17/6/10 +*
A series of questions in the Commons yesterday suggest that the ID card scheme had a surge of applicants even after it became clear that the Tories would be scrapping the scheme.

*+ Those affected by ID card abolition get chance to speak out - Computing 16/6/10 +*
The Commons committee charged with examining the bill abolishing ID cards has issued a call for evidence on the effect of the legislation and any of its provisions.
*+ Atherton MP calls for ID card rethink - Leigh Journal 12/6/10 +*
Atherton-based Bolton West MP Julie Hilling has urged government ministers to rethink their decision not to issue refunds to residents who are unable to use their identity cards.

*+ Scrappage of ID cards will lead to job cuts - The Grapevine Online 11/6/10 +*
The government has confirmed that there will be redundancies as a result of the cancellation of identity cards.

*+ ID cards by the backdoor? - 6/6/10 +*
The devil, as they say, is in the details. When the coalition government said it would cancel ID cards most media outlets didn't pay much attention to the fact the cards would remain for foreign nationals. constitutional/comment-id-cards-by-the-backdoor--$21379223.htm

*+ Taking a liberty: Tories accused of U-turn on NHS database vow - Daily Mail 5/6/10 +*
A controversial database of personal health records will continue to be rolled out despite Government pledges on civil liberties. Campaigners accused the coalition of a U-turn over a system they say people are bullied into signing up to and is too hard to opt out of.
(Please send me any items of interest you encounter - Editor( )


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