Why tech’s motto ‘move fast and break things’ has limits

Move fast and break things, they like to say in Silicon Valley. The motto sums up the pace of invention that tech companies aim to foster: if you’re not breaking anything, you’re probably not moving fast enough, and there’s a 19-year-old in a garage somewhere about to take your place. It’s not a maxim that applies to all walks of life. Take the NHS. Breaking things is the opposite of what our doctors are supposed to do. But last week the Royal Free Trust got in hot water for doing just that, namely breaking the Data Protection Act. Britain’s data watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office, said the Royal Free had acted inappropriately when it handed over 1.6m patient records to Google.  They were used by DeepMind, a branch of the…


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