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Have you ever thought how much intimate data your local supermarket holds on you and your family if you have a loyalty card?

They know how much alcohol you buy, how much chocolate you consume and even the size of clothes you might buy.  I wonder if they have graphs showing your calorific intake over time compared to your waist size?

Come to think about it, would Tesco be looking at purchasing information from the scheme and combining it with the comprehensive lifestyle data they hold on you?  Now that level of intimate knowledge could be a valued resource to life insurance companies couldn’t it?

Which brings me onto the continuing furore over as according to a Pulse survey Over 40% of GPs intend to opt themselves out of scheme .

Now I’m not being silly and opting out completely.  I’m quite happy for my data to be shared within the NHS but no way am I letting it go to third parties, even if it’s anonymised.  If high level government officers can leave laptops and USB sticks full of confidential data lying around then how likely is it my data will filter out at some point?  Not that I have anything to hide, but it’s the principle that’s important, especially when this information could be combined with my shopping habits and sold on to interested parties.

And just to be completely clear, that case of wine I brought last week was for a party and not just for me, OK?

Dr Hadrian Moss is a GP in Kettering, Northamptonshire. You can tweet him at @DrHMoss.

Readers' comments (3)

  • The data will only be released for research purposes. With minimum alcohol pricing on the agenda wouldn't it be useful to know what people with alcohol problems spend on their alcohol. Of course this would require identifiable data to the bona fide researcher (Tesco), so release of identifiers would be approved.....................

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  • Hadrian Moss

    Every little helps Geoff

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  • Vinci Ho

    What is the difference between this and automatic removal of organs from people's dead bodies for research purposes. Remember the Alder Hey scandal??

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