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WeGov

England's Care.data Fiasco: Open Government Data Done Wrong

BY Wendy M. Grossman | Monday, April 21 2014

Screengrab from Paul Bernal's parody of the "Downfall" video

Given the power to open up access to public health data in legislation passed in 2012, the governing health authority ordered care.data into being at the end of 2013, and distributed information leaflets in January 2014. Unfortunately, the process has been confused by conflicting promises of protecting personal information and expanding commercial access. The resulting furor, which has seen the program delayed for six months for a rethink, has seriously damaged public trust in how the English National Health Service (NHS) intends to manage the country's medical data. Wendy M. Grossman explains what went wrong. Read More

WeGov

Teacamp: Where British Civil Servants Go to Brew Change From Within

BY Wendy M. Grossman | Tuesday, September 3 2013

Sir Nigel Hawthorne, the star of "Yes, Minister," having a cup of tea.

After years where even the hint of blogging might get a British civil servant fired, in the last few years, things have begun to open up. One manifestation of the change is a regular gathering of a hundred or more civil servants known as "teacamp," which brings together like-minded staff from across the British government to compare notes and share ideas on how they are using social media and open data to change their relationship to the general public. Longtime tech writer Wendy Grossman reports on the scene, and asks just how much it is actually a sign of real change. Read More