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No violation of data privacy of citizens under National Digital Health Mission, Rajya Sabha told


New Delhi, Feb 2: There is no violation of data privacy of citizens under the National Digital Health Mission as it enables appropriate use of health data with the consent of an individual, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Tuesday.

No violation of data privacy under National Digital Health Mission, Rajya Sabha told

The ambitious National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) programme was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech last year. According to a draft proposal, everyone enrolled for the mission will get a Health ID free of cost and will have complete control over his or her data.

Providing the current status of roll out of health id under NDHM, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey said the pilot phase of the mission is active in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Ladakh, Lakshadweep and Puducherry.

As on January 21, as many as 6,30,478 Health IDs have been generated. The selection of vendors for NDHM is compliant with various applicable rules and policies of the government, he said.

On whether there is a violation of the privacy of Indian citizens if the data is stored with an external company, Choubey, in a written reply, said the data is stored in a federated architecture as described in the National Digital Health Blueprint released by the Government of India in 2019.

"There is no centralized database of medical records. However, NDHM enables appropriate use of the health data of each individual for his/her own healthcare with his/her consent only. Therefore, there is no violation of privacy of Indian citizens."

The government gives highest priority to data security and privacy, the minister of state for health said.

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Elaborating on the steps taken to protect data privacy, he said it is inbuilt in the design of NDHM.

All applicable laws, rules and judgments of the Supreme Court are being followed. Health Data Management Policy has also been approved. Apart from various legal provisions, all technical solutions possible to ensure data privacy and security are being put in place, Choubey said.

As mentioned in the National Digital Health Blueprint (NDHB), the guiding document for NDHM implementation, use of secure health networks and government community cloud infrastructure is being used for hosting of data, he said.

"All events on this cloud infrastructure would be under 24x7 surveillance to ensure highly secure environment. One of the key aspects of information security framework under NDHM highlights privacy by design as one of the key guiding principles.

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    "It aims to ensure that health data and its transfer are always compliant and adhere to all privacy requirements. All the building blocks that require handling personal health records are being designed to comply with such policy ab initio. Further, medical records are made available to anyone only with the consent of the individual or his/her nominee," the minister said.

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