Medical privacy threatened by loophole in draft EU data protection law, professor warns

Loek Essers reports:

A “huge loophole” is being carved in the European Union’s upcoming data protection regulation, according Ross Anderson, a professor of security engineering at the University of Cambridge in England.

The way the current draft of the law allows secondary uses of medical records is a privacy scandal waiting to happen, Anderson said during the Amsterdam Privacy Conference on Monday.

The loophole, he said, is in articles 81 and 83 of the draft data protection regulation, which covers the way personal health data may be processed in the 27 E.U. member states. The data can, for instance, be used for historical, statistical and scientific research purposes — but the way the draft proposal is crafted poses a big privacy risk, Anderson said.

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