If only there was a technology that could solve this problem …

PVO in The Australian:

Consumers won’t know who has seen their records, or when. The system doesn’t even have the capacity to track the online ­accessing of information by individuals within organisations.

In other words, you’ll know a particular hospital or pharmacy has prised its way into your personal health information, but if it’s a big organisation you won’t know who actually did so.

And it’s not only doctors who get access. Nurses, other health workers and even basic administrators can all log in and see everything and anything stored in your record (which may not even be accurate) and you will never know about it.

Hmmmm.

Good to see that PVO is waking up to the biggest problem Australia faces:

Big government is some­thing we have become used to as the state slowly works its way into all aspects of our lives.

Now I know that sometimes I go on and on: Australians have no right of privacy against the government. I am less concerned  that hackers could discover my rather boring medical details than the government shares my tax data with many other countries.

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21 Responses to If only there was a technology that could solve this problem …

  1. flyingduk

    No jew in Holland in 1935 had any idea that by 1940, his country would be occupied by the Nazis, who would use the helpfully compiled Dutch Government records to identify every jew in Holland, and, by 1945, murder 80% of them.

    Never.Ever.Trust.Government. Not with your life, your health, your data, your retirement funds, nothing!

  2. Bruce of Newcastle

    I am less concerned that hackers could discover my rather boring medical details than the government shares my tax data with many other countries.

    I suspect a lot of politicians would be quite adverse to their tax details and medically revealed proclivities being shared with all and sundry.

    Oddly that doesn’t seem to cause them to energetically pursue data protection and enforcement for the poor unwashed voters whose lot in life is to elect these people into office.

  3. teddy bear

    The only reason the system doesn’t have the ability to track such basic things is because it was designed by incompetent halfwits. Access controls and tracking for content management systems is one of the most basic things to create, that being said it doesn’t really surprise me that whoever designed it didn’t put these things in in the first place.

  4. John Constantine

    If only there was a technology that could track ownership of and responsibility for an Australian sheep, with an individually electronically identified eartag fitted.

    Even when live exported overseas.

    Comrades.

  5. Herodotus

    OK, but who is vouching for the accuracy of these records? Can we check them ourselves?

  6. harry buttle

    Whilst your medical record may in fact be dull, that can change quickly.

    I don’t have my medicare card with me right now, but as soon as I do I’ll be opting out of this privacy/security slow motion train wreck.

    Govts can’t even keep their firearms registries secure, do you really believe that they will be able to keep a database of this size secure?

  7. Grandma

    Be very concerned. As well as exposure of your health record to all and sundry, there is a real risk that your data will be stolen and sold by a trusted insider. This is the most common type of computer fraud and the one least reported. Expect a cover up at some point to protect the public servants who should have prevented that theft and didn’t.

  8. Tel

    Govts can’t even keep their firearms registries secure, do you really believe that they will be able to keep a database of this size secure?

    No of course I don’t believe that.

    But don’t bother opting out, because the data still goes on record, exactly like it would otherwise. The so called “opt out” only puts a flag so the system does not show the data to certain people. However, a hacker probably would not respect that flag, and would just copy all the data as is.

    I’m guessing the only thing you can do it go to a doctor with cash and just say, “Sorry I haven’t bothered to update my Medicare card, it’s lost, I’ll worry about that later”.

  9. Tel

    As well as exposure of your health record to all and sundry, there is a real risk that your data will be stolen and sold by a trusted insider. This is the most common type of computer fraud and the one least reported.

    Correct… and should such a thing happen, the “opt-out” flag will do you no good at all.

  10. Eyrie

    grandma, the public servants will be *doing* the theft.

  11. Eyrie

    Tel, as I read it your scenario is what happens if you opt out AFTER the 3 month opt out period is up.

    Allegedly.

    Kameraden.

  12. John Constantine

    https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/cops-still-using-leap-database-to-snoop-on-people/news-story/3cbf443a50b4f341e0d55a5fa5410898


    Mr Watts said the force is now making “steady progress” in preventing other information abuse, with breaches for personal use or media leaks beginning to fall.

    However, he also cautions in his last annual report that in April the force was also subject to what Chief Commissioner Ken Lay described as “the gravest breach of police security” he had seen, following the discovery of large numbers of sensitive police records during police raids at various sites around Melbourne linked to outlaw motorbike gangs”

    The firearms ownership and gunsafe location database is a treasure map that has been sold to every evildoing organised crime group in the country.

    Leap is tinder and grindr for the dodgy.

    Giving every medico the chance to snoop on past and current hook-ups medical files? what could go wrong?.

  13. John Constantines

    Good call about not using the medicare card Tel.

    If you don’t make many visits it is only a few hundred bucks a decade to go off grid.

  14. 2dogs

    Hmmmm.

    Sinc, how exactly does block-chain help this situation? As far as I can tell, it would make it worse.

  15. Squirrel

    Everything which has thus far been made public about this exercise (even before the inevitable major stuff-ups) is absolutely emblematic of the elected and un-elected officials who preside over us.

    If their competence was on a par with their do-as-your-told-and-don’t-ask-questions arrogance, this opt-out database might be slightly less worrying (in some respects), but noting the recent major hack in Singapore (generally, it would seem, somewhat better at getting stuff done well than our lot), there would still be a lot to worry about.

    The fact that they keep doing stuff like this, and then occasionally allow themselves to worry aloud about the risks of a “populist backlash”, is almost beyond belief.

  16. Roger

    1.5 million Singaporeans had their government stored health records hacked overnight.

    Thankfully, Greg Hunt has given us his assurance that can’t happen here.

  17. Frank

    From the site where you cancel your record there is this little nugget for those that want to eliminate a pre-existing record.

    What happens when you cancel a My Health Record?

    When you cancel your record:

    *Healthcare providers will not be able to upload documents or access the record – even in an emergency.
    *You, or your representative can only see the record by making a request to us.
    *Once your record is cancelled, it will be kept for 30 years after your death or, if the date of death is unknown, for 130 years after the date of your birth.
    *It may be accessed by us for maintenance, audit and other purposes required or authorised by law.

    Yikes.

  18. rickw

    The firearms ownership and gunsafe location database is a treasure map that has been sold to every evildoing organised crime group in the country.

    Evildoing organised crime naturally includes Government. No doubt the data as also been shared with the UN and it’s various subsidiaries. There’s no such thing as sucking up “to much” to the UN.

  19. harpy

    Hmmph: digitalhealth.gov.au, your Priorities are showing:

    –Good to see you identified clearly multiple ways the system can be used to promote interests of health industry organizations: Promote your organisation? yep! got that covered!:

    https://www.digitalhealth.gov.au/using-the-my-health-record-system/maintaining-digital-health-in-your-practice/promote-your-organisation

    – Patient consent? — well… not so much :-/

    https://www.digitalhealth.gov.au/using-the-my-health-record-system/maintaining-digital-health-in-your-practice/patient-consent

    [ Not Found The page you are trying to visit is no longer available on our website or has been moved. ]

    ————-

    Seems to me, this global rapture for centralising our data obfuscates empowering alternatives, so i wonder if options for federated systems was explored — even if that meant delaying implementation while innovating. many links online , here’s a start:

    1. “https://nces.ed.gov/Programs/SLDS/pdf/federated_centralized_print.pdf”

    ” In a centralized data system, all
    participating source systems copy their
    data to a single, centrally-located data
    repository where they are organized,
    integrated, and stored using a common
    data standard.”

    “In a federated data system, individual
    source systems maintain control over
    their own data, but agree to share some
    or all of this information to other
    participating systems upon request.”

    https://maidsafe.net/

    “The SAFE network is autonomous and decentralised.
    It is not a set of federated servers, or owned
    storage locations, or identifiable nodes, nor
    does it contain a blockchain.”

    SAFE Network is an … Internet that is currently
    available to the public in its Alpha testing phase.
    It’s been in development by MaidSafe for over a decade,
    with a community of thousands around the world.
    As one of the most established projects in the
    decentralised world, there’s been a lot of interest recently as people are starting to realise that the SAFE Network is about far more than simply decentralised storage. And what’s more, it doesn’t use a blockchain…

    .

    2. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-319-53817-4_3

    “Privacy-preserving federated data analysis can enhance security in real world biomedical applications. Recent progresses shed light on the development of secure and efficient federated data analysis techniques using advanced cryptographic techniques and parallelization methods to reduce computational complexity and communication costs while respecting privacy. Federated models bring computation to the data rather than bring the data to the computation. The appropriate adaptation of these models will address the privacy concerns of patients and institutions while preserving the utility of data in analyses.”

    [And our eruditely hypocritical PM wants to BAN end to end cryptography!

    ~

    3. Home Teams
    https://www.zdnet.com/article/data61-wants-australia-to-go-all-in-on-fintech-and-cybersecurity-innovation/
    .

    ” The cybersecurity veteran also suggests that it is in the nation’s best interest for all facets of the economy to work together to develop an Australian-based industry, rather than continuing to consume imported ideas and technology — MacGibbon previously said Australia should reject the idea of replicating Silicon Valley.

    The report [ PDF], produced by Data61, Sydney-based fintech hub Stone & Chalk, KMPG, and the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce, says that Australia is too dependent on others for the protection of its most critical information, pointing to the fact that the country would never outsource its military to foreign companies as a comparison to why such technology should be created down under.

    “[Australia has] the talent and collective ability to create a viable industry; however, we have lacked focus and prioritisation,” the report says.

    ~

    BTW anyone know about heritage and organisational developer of this software for the department? Internal gov.au? local, foreign contractor??

    ———–
    Australia.gov — picking leading edge solutions obsoleted before implemented (remember the NBN!)

    I despair for future of our country in face of such progressive erosion of our freedoms and privacy…

  20. stevem

    I admit I was indifferent to the MyHealth initiative. I could see the benefits of accessible records in case of a health emergency.
    That changed yesterday, just days into the burgeoning controversy when the Sydney Morning Herald ran a simple article advocating MyHealth. It was not written about a medical professional who thought it a useful data repository but about the head of NIB health insurance who wanted to trawl through policy holders health records.
    No good can come for peoples health if insurance companies can get their hands on the data to refuse to accept policies based on medical history. Lying on a policy application is one thing but when children may be refused insurance for their parents genetically inherited diseases there is a problem.

  21. Helen

    No good can come for peoples health if insurance companies can get their hands on the data to refuse to accept policies based on medical history. Lying on a policy application is one thing but when children may be refused insurance for their parents genetically inherited diseases there is a problem.

    Or Insurance companies who draft, by means of high premiums, clients who they deem high risk off private insurance and onto the public health system.

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