It’s one of the great questions of our times: if you have loads of interesting data that can be used for the benefit of all, how does that square up against people’s desire, or indeed right, to maintain control over their own information? I suspect there are many such debates on the horizon, but for now you’d be hard-pressed to find a more perfect case study than that of England’s National Health Service (NHS) and the data it holds on its patients.

This is a highly politicized mess, as the British government is gradually privatizing the NHS, but the key facts stand above that particular fray.

Let’s see what happens in the cloud…

Over the last 15 years or so, the NHS has become increasingly computerized, and it is now at the point where data about hospital and general practitioner visits will soon all be accessible from the same place…

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