A BOLTON MP has backed a campaign to inform Bolton residents about 'threats' to their personal data privacy.

Plans outlined by NHS Digital mean 55 million patients’ data will be placed into a database available to academic and commercial third parties for research and planning.

This was unveiled in April by Health Secretary Matt Hancock through blog posts and flyers in GP surgeries, rather than through more formal announcements. The deadline for people to opt out is June 23.

Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth has written to the Government outlining concerns

Bolton South East MP Yasmin Qureshi added: "I am deeply concerned by plans from Mr Hancock and NHS Digital that place patients’ data at risk to third parties."

Similar fears were voiced last week by Cllr Sue Haworth, Labour health spokesman.

Ms Qureshi also said: "In the 2010s, we witnessed the rise of data and the impact it can have on people’s lives when it comes to targeted advertising, the impact on insurance premiums and more.”

“Thankfully, with GDPR regulation, we have some protection from the most ruthless uses of data, but more needs to be done.”

“In the 2020s, we need to see the protection of individual privacy. In doing this, I implore you all to opt out of the NHS data exchange, and hand the form into your local GP surgery.”

Alex Norris MP, the Shadow Minister for Prevention, Public Health, and Primary Care, stated in his letter that there needs to be “a clear understanding of this [data] process,” and that “without consultation and clear communication with patients, trust in this process is undermined".