Tuesday, 27 November 2018 05:26

Australians can now opt out of My Health Record at any time

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Australians can now opt out of My Health Record at any time Pixabay

Legislation passed by the Australian Parliament on Wednesday will make it possible for citizens to opt out of the My Health Record digital health program at any time.

The Australian Digital Health Agency, which administers the scheme, said in a statement that records would be created after 31 January 2019 for every Australian who wanted one.

But these records could be permanently deleted at any time, it added.

The government had initially set a date of 15 November for Australians to indicate that they wanted to opt out of the scheme.

But following a big backlash and objections from the Opposition, the government agreed to make changes to the rules around the scheme.

The ADHA said the new changes included the following:

  • Allow Australians to permanently delete their records, and any backups, at any time.
  • Explicitly prohibit access to My Health Records by insurers and employers.
  • Provide greater privacy for teenagers 14 years and over.
  • Strengthen existing protections for people at risk of family and domestic violence.
  • Clarify that only the ADHA, the Department of Health and the chief executive of Medicare (and no other government agency) can access the My Health Record system.
  • Explicitly require law enforcement and other agencies to produce a court order to access information in My Health Records.
  • Make clear that the system cannot be privatised or used for commercial purposes.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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