MHR opt-out period extended again

Maricruz Casares
Noviembre 15, 2018

The record will contain sensitive information on the medicines you are taking, your medical consultations, medical test results and reveal if you have had an abortion, a mental illness, a sexually transmitted disease or a drug addiction.

Health Minister Greg Hunt announced the extension on Twitter this afternoon, saying the government had "worked with the senate crossbench to extend the opt-out period for My Health Record".

Eleven data breaches occurred in just 11 weeks between July and September 13 this year, according to the OAIC's submission to a recent Senate Inquiry into the My Health Record.

Another concern was that perpetrators of domestic violence might be able to find the addresses of former partners, particularly if both are parents and have access to their children's data. "This is just ridiculous, and makes me feel angry and helpless and not in control of my information".

Insurers and health insurers have been arguing they should get access to the record.

Another reader, Elena, said she attempted to opt out a few days ago without success.

Kerryn Phelps, the newly-elected independent for Wentworth, said the extension "may" give parliament enough time to pass further protections.

Until these changes pass the parliament, even if you later decide to cancel your My Health Record it will not be removed from the system.

Under section 70 of the legislation police and government agencies such as the Australian Taxation Office will be able to get access to the information without a court order.

Vijay Varadharajan, Microsoft Chair Professor in Innovation in Computing Director, acknowledged that there is a growing trend in information going digital, but there were flaws in My Health. However, there are no guarantees about how your data will be used by said providers.

The Federal Government appears unlikely to extend the opt-out period, despite Opposition calls for a longer period to allow new protections to be made law.

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"It's a modern part of any health management system".

In 2017 Medicare card details were found for sale on the dark web.

If the date wasn't shifted, millions of Australians would have automatically joined the scheme.

Despite privacy concerns, Mr Hunt said there had never been a reported security breach of the system. There's also the potential for data breaches which could result in your records being used for god knows what. However, the agency's minister Greg Hunt would not provide an updated number last week.

People can access their data online at anytime and adjust how it may be viewed by health professionals and people they trust. Otherwise it's up to your doctor to decide what records to put on your file. And maybe the government can invest in some more bandwidth in the meantime.

There are a bunch of reasons you might want to consider opting out of the scheme.

By October 19, the latest figures available, more than a million Australians had opted out.

As Senators debated the proposal, Australians complained on social media that the My Health Record website and helpline had crashed.

"Our primary concern is that under the My Health Record scheme, workers may be vulnerable to incremental and intrusive requests by employers seeking access to such personal information". "It can help prevent medication misadventures that see more than 230,000 people end up in hospital each year", he said.

"At the end of the day, people can opt out at any time during their lives".

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