By withdrawing its request for authorization from the CNIL for the Health Data Hub (HDH), the government is taking a small, tiny step in the right direction, the one that I hope will ultimately consist of pulling the plug on this gas factory.
At the risk of being unkind, one is tempted to ask what purpose could have been served by an operating authorization for something that, precisely, does not work. In high places, in the administration, one avoids self-flagellation, of course, and one envisages “starting again on good bases”. Ah, how gallantly these things are put, as Molière would have said. More trivially, I call it a “bide”!
No one would criticize the initial objective of a project that was supposed to allow “easy and unified, transparent and secure access to health data in order to improve the quality of care and support for patients”. The massive exploitation of health data represents without question an essential tool for research.
What a waste of time! Without authorization from the CNIL, the HDH cannot function in a full and normal manner, if at all. Therefore, there can only be pilot projects, very limited and very controlled. It was worth the ambition to “make France a leader in health data analysis” to get to this point, after more than two years. From the unfortunate choice of Microsoft to the functional incapacity of HDH, its promoters have accumulated strategic and technical errors, without having the humility to question themselves, persisting in denial and refusing to consider an alternative.
It is not for lack of having sounded the alarm, along with many other observers, notably in the pages devoted to this controversy, in the report on digital sovereignty that I presented more than six months ago. However, there are sovereign and functional national solutions, such as the West Data Hub or the APHP Data Warehouse, which are already operational and comply with the expectations of the CNIL, and with the interests of the French. What if we took advantage of this to trust the French cloud ecosystem… by invitation to tender?