The UK National Health Service has initiated a plan to take the nation's private health records and sell them off to private companies in a process overseen by notorious multinational bumblewads ATOS. If you live in
the UK England, your records -- mental health records, prescriptions, records of surgeries including abortions, and other sensitive personal information -- will be handed over to a wide-ranging group of companies all over the world.
Unless you opt out. And opting out isn't easy. There's no central place to opt out. Instead, you have to send a letter to your GP's surgery, which means you have to look up your GP's surgery's address, compose a legally sufficient letter, print it out, find an envelope and a stamp -- etc.
However! There's a better way. A group of volunteers whom I trust implicitly, including the astounding Stef Magdalinski (who made the Faxyourmp service that is the ancestor of Theyworkforyou) have created Fax Your GP, a dead-simple form that will look up your GP's fax number for you, create a form opt-out letter you can fill in in just a few easy steps, and then they'll fax that letter directly to your GP's surgery. I just opted out.
The NHS leaflet explaining care.data says you should ‘let your GP know’ if you want to opt out.
But GP surgeries are busy. If you ring up wanting to opt out they’ll ask you to write to them instead. That’s fair enough – their priority is treating the sick.
It’s 2014. The NHS really should have made it easy to opt out via the web.
So we thought we’d help out.
First, we found the fax numbers for every GP practice (sadly, very few let you email them). After you’ve entered your details, our clever computers automatically fax your letter asking to opt-out of the care.data database straight to your GP practice.
It’s free. It’s secure. And we don’t store any of your personal data once your opt-out fax has been received by your GP. So we won’t email trying to sign you up for other campaigns.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.