Blair calls for data to be shared

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Tony Blair will propose this week to change the law to allow government departments to share personal data, including people's medical records and tax details.

The plan to allow Whitehall departments to share information that is currently protected by strict confidentiality rules will prove highly controversial.

The Prime Minister is likely to argue that allowing personal files to be shared will speed up and simplify Whitehall decision-making.

But the move is expected to be criticised by civil liberties groups, which will say that sensitive information could fall into the wrong hands.