MEDIA RELEASE: The biggest privacy risks to your My Health Record – the Government.

Whatever arguments are put up for and against My Health Record and the current push to make it opt-out, there are two inescapable facts:

1. My Health Record is a Federal Government owned, controlled and operated information system. The government collects your health data, never deletes it and will keep it for at least 30 years after you die. In addition to creating a record for every Australia who does not opt-out and without asking or seeking your consent, it has extensive legal powers to access, use and link this data also without your consent and/or knowledge. It is unrealistic to believe that the government will not use My Health Record data for many and various purposes. It has already flagged some of those purposes; there will be more.

The government has also exempted itself from the framework for secondary use of My Health Record system data [1], and considers itself some sort of privileged user rather than the “third-party” everyone else believes it is, including the AMA as quoted by the Parliamentary Library in its scathing criticism of the claims of the Health Minister and the ADHA [2].

2. No matter what the government now claims about the laws and regulations that protect the system your privacy and your security, there is no way to enforce these or any other claims on future governments.
The system has already been changed from opt-in to opt-out; the government removed the requirement to obtain your consent to register you for a record and to acquire your data and disseminate it to health care professionals.

These two facts are enough to demand the current My Health Record opt-out program be suspended and the data currently in it deleted. It is the only way that Australians can be assured that this and future governments will not abuse our health data and our trust.

Contacts:

Dr Bernard Robertson-Dunn
(APF Health Committee Chair)

0411 157 113Bernard.Robertson-Dunn@privacy.org.au


References:

  1. Implementing the Framework to guide the secondary use of My Health Record system data Page 7, “out of scope”

  2. Law enforcement access to My Health Record data