NHS Number

Richard Clayton richard at highwayman.com
Mon Jan 10 15:13:46 GMT 2011

In article <op.vo3bmwug6hl8nm at clerew.man.ac.uk>, Charles Lindsey
<chl at clerew.man.ac.uk> writes

>For any sort of number that reliably identifies a person (that seems to  
>include NHS numbers but not NI numbers) it should be illegal to ask for  
>that number outside of a context clearly related to the original purpose  
>of that number.

There is statutory provision for the Government to make an order (under
para. 4 of Part II of Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998) to do
exactly this!  They haven't ever done so.

This type of restriction is common elsewhere in Europe, and it would be
straightforward to argue that the failure to have created any such
orders (and there's lots of other numbers which have similar problems,
such as the Unique Pupil Number) is a failure to correctly transpose the
Data Protection Directive into UK Law.

richard                                                   Richard Clayton

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary 
Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Benjamin Franklin 11 Nov 1755
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