As per usual with many government initiatives, on face value they seem like a good idea. But governments don't exactly have a good track record in transparency or honesty, or even security in what they do.
Your personal information, which includes your health information, should be kept private and only shared with the least amount of people you agree to share it with. And the less it's shared the better! Also, the least the government knows about you, the better!
On one hand there are policies which dictate the privacy and security of your personal and health information, but on the other hand, those involved in gathering and storing your information (ie, the government or health officials) have already been discussing how to share your information to third parties for marketing and profits!
Going completely against all other government policies where you have to opt-in to be a part of it, the My Health Record is an AUTOMATIC opt-in! And you can opt-out of the e-health system ONLY within a 3-month period which starts from TODAY (16th July 2018). From 16th July 2018 until 15th October 2018 is the only time you can opt out of the e-health record system. How ridiculous is that?!
If you register to opt-out, no e-health record will be created for you. But is this enough? No! You may still have to remind staff at every healthcare facility you visit to let them know that you do not have a My Health Record, so that they don't create one and add your health details to it.
If you have an e-health record automatically created because you didn't opt-out, then all is not lost! You CAN register to have your e-health records cancelled "at any time". BUT, this does not mean your records are actually deleted! Copies are actually still visible and kept by all healthcare providers for a period of 30-130 years AFTER your death. Your details will still be "accessed by us (the government) for the purposes of maintenance, audit and other purposes required or authorised by law".
IT specialists have said that it's impossible to completely safeguard your information in this system. We've seen this with many very public hacks, leaks or illegal sharing of personal information, and even credit card information stolen from allegedly "secure" systems. Just last week, scammers cloned the government's hub website - MyGov! In fact the My Health Records have already been breached many times, according to a report by the Australian Information Commissioner!
Even the organisation overseeing the project, the Australian Digital Health Agency, has had information leaked about the "secondary use" of the collected information. That the health information in the My Health Record may be used and disclosed "for any purpose", such as for research purposes, or perhaps other questionable uses such as marketing. Various disease awareness organisations have said publically that they are "excited" about the possibilities of using the data! At least the Law Council of Australia have said they do not support the automatic opt-in model or the secondary uses of the health information.
To find out more about the My Health Record program, please go here: https://www.myhealthrecord.gov.au/
To opt out of the My Health Record, please go to the My Health Record website here: https://www.myhealthrecord.gov.au/ or by calling 1800 723 471 for phone based assistance.
Please like and share this post so others are aware of what is coming, and to take action to opt-out of the process, if so desired.
How do you feel about a large number of people being able to access your personal information and your health history, or about the government knowing even more about you? Or what are your concerns about this?