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NHS medical records

The British government had planned to keep every NHS patient's medical records on a national data base known as The Spine. Civil liberty advocates rightly feared that patients' medical details could be accessed by hackers or the police or insurance companies without permission.

For two years the government has rejected requests from patients that their medical histories be kept out of the data base. Now the government has bowed to the pressure from civil libertarians. As a result individual NHS patients will be able to correct their records and withhold them entirely from the data base. This is a victory of civil rights campaigners against the potentially abusive power of government.