Friday, May 01, 2009

On confidentiality and trust

So I get this phone call today. Some guy with a strong accent, obviously based in an off-shore call centre asks for me by name. When I say that he already is already speaking to me, he says he believes I recently got injured in an accident that wasn't my fault. I tell him that this is not the case. "Oh?" he says. "No slips or falls, then, in the past few months?"

So what I want to know is this - do they just work their way through the phone records and make these same overtures to everyone? Or has the call centre some how got their hands on my NHS records?

Because, yes. I did have a fall several months ago. I slipped on the stairs and grabbed the rail to stop myself from falling. In the process, I injured my neck really badly. I am only just beginning to recover from it.

But it happened in my home... so who would I sue? And it was (kind of) my own fault. I was wearing new glasses and misjudged the top step. Should I sue the opticians?

Sometimes things happen and we just have to accept that it was unfortunate and move on with our lives. All this suing and litigating... it's no way to live.

But I digress.

Some years ago, my husband was a partner in a printing bureau. They printed what amounts to junkmail. Of the kind that is addressed to you personally. Various sources were available for this information: TV licence data, voters' roll data, telephone lists, etc. While even this is a bit of a grey area for me in terms of ethics, at least it is only my name and address that is being made available.

But when someone in India knows about a fall I had... well, I thought medical records were supposed to be confidential.

Or is it indeed just a co-inky-dink, and I'm just reading too much into it?

1 comment:

Downes said...

> do they just work their way through the phone records and make these same overtures to everyone?

Yes. That's exactly what they do.