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Intersection: Sidewalks & Public Space

Chapter by Melissa Ngo

"The Myth of Security Under Camera Surveillance"


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    Local (Germany): Drug data firm ‘sold raw info’ to big pharma

    The Local reports on a company accused of selling prescription information without first anonymizing the data in Germany:

    A German company which studies drug prescription habits for the pharma industry is accused of selling raw data to drug companies, in what magazine Der Spiegel said on Monday could be a huge data protection scandal.

    A former member of staff at the data processing firm Pharmafakt GFD told the magazine under oath that data from millions of pharmacy prescriptions had been saved and analysed then sold to pharma firms.

    He said managers at the firm based near Munich, had instructed him over years, to deal with prescription data which had not been made anonymous, or put into code.

    Selling the information is perfectly legal – if it is made anonymous first. [...]

    But Pharmafakt GFD manager Dietmar Wassener rejected the allegations. “In contrast to the accusations in Spiegel, the GFD did not pass on or sell personal data. All data is only used to produce studies,” he said in an email to the Süddeutsche Zeitung. [...]

    When asked by the magazine to look at some of the data, however, Thilo Weichert, the data protection commissioner in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein said they appeared authentic.

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