Kiss your privacy goodbye when you use an ambulance? The Australian Privacy Foundation says No.

People in South Australia need real answers and real responses to yet another data breach. The SA Ambulance Service has disclosed that the personal details of 28,000 patients have been stolen. Those details include people’s name, date of birth, age, address, and in some cases, their pension number and health notes. Juanita Fernando, chair of the Australian Privacy Foundation’s (APF’s) Health Committee said, “That’s prime fodder for identity theft and something we all need to take seriously.” The Ambulance Service says the data was on a storage device that was stolen from a consultancy firm in July. The consultants had apparently held the data since the early 2000s. Read More

Victorian information sharing Bill a threat to privacy

The Victorian Government’s Health Legislation Amendment (Information Sharing) Bill 2021 was rushed through its first parliamentary vote on 14 October 2021, raising many unanswered questions for patients and health care professionals in that state. Put plainly, this legislation allows agents of the Victorian Government a complete record of every Victorian person’s most sensitive and private information. The powers embodied in the Bill are unprecedented. Why does the Victorian Government need to harvest and store such a rich database of patient information? Read More

Too late? The new normal, State government slurps up all patient information.

The Victorian government’s “Health Legislation Amendment (Information Sharing) Bill 2021” was hurried through its first Parliamentary vote last week. The Bill links all patient medical and health information through a single portal, to be shared between authorised end-users, decided and controlled by the Secretary of the Department of Health. The powers embodied in the Bill are unprecedented, threatening patient-doctor confidentiality, risking health and wellness should some individuals decide not to seek clinical attention for potentially life threatening or serious illnesses and conditions. Read More

How [NOT] to earn public trust for the Contact Tracing App?

“This public health crisis is too important to risk a repeat of recent personal data disasters that undermined community trust in governments’ use of IT. The last Census, council exploitation of metadata retention, ‘Robodebt’, laws undermining encryption, and compulsory registration for an empty My Health Record loom large in public memory. The way this app… Read More

MEDIA RELEASE: How to earn public trust before the Contact Tracing App

The Australian public is attracted by the idea of using technology to assist tracing contacts of people diagnosed with COVID-19. A proximity logging app is proposed.The Australian public, along with scientists and researchers around the world, are also very concerned about gifting future governments the power to impose contact tracing on the populace through the… Read More

My Health Record: the case for opting out

Katharine Kemp, UNSW; Bruce Baer Arnold, University of Canberra, and David Vaile, UNSW Unless you take action to remove yourself from the My Health Record (MHR) system, the federal government will make a digital copy of your medical record, store it centrally, and, as the default, provide numerous people with access to it. If you… Read More