Dutch health min. "proud" of Big Brother Award

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Edith Schippers (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commonst). (Edith Schippers (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commonst))

Minister Edith Schippers of Public Health won the Big Brother Award for privacy violation, was announced at the award ceremony in Amsterdam on Monday. She is "proud" of the award, she said in a first reaction, Het Parool reports.

Schippers was nominated for giving health insurers more power to look at confidential patient information, in an attempt to reduce health insurance fraud. A total of 4,673 people voted for the Big Brother Awards this year. Schippers got 51 percent of the votes.

"Four years ago I go the award for making more and better exchange of information between doctors possible. That resulted in fewer medical errors and beter care for patients. I am still proud of that", Schippers said in reaction. "Now I got the award because while maintaining medical confidentiality I made it possible to check whether care was actually provided. Health care money is spent on care, taking good care of people's premium money is my mission. I'm also proud that I can can contribute to that."

The other two nominees this year were general intelligence service AIVD for trying to limit encryption and WhatsApp for sharing user data with parent  company Facebook.

Bits of Freedom, the organization behind the Big Brother Awards, also awarded the "expert prize", which goes to privacy violation that got less attention. The municipality of Rotteradam go thtis prize for using police data to decide where antisocial, criminal or radicalized residents can rent a home. 

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