You are a slave to the state

As technology enhances the state’s capacity to surveil its citizens it is becoming more and more apparent what relationship we have vis-a-vis the state. This is especially so in the modern welfare state. The logic is as follows: the state pays for you, the state owns you. Take, for example, the My Health Record:

Australian Federal Police, the Home Affairs Department, financial regulatory authorities, crime commissions, and any state or territory police force or anti-corruption bodies are among the law enforcement bodies that would be able to access Australians’ sensitive medical records if they held a “reasonable belief” it would be necessary to prevent a crime.

The Australian Taxation Office, Centrelink or Medicare could also look into an individual’s medical records as the legislation states that the “protection of the public revenue” is another reason for agencies to access My Health Record data, according to the analysis by the director of the Parliamentary Library’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security research section Nigel Brew.

You can opt out here.

As I’ve said before – if only there was a technology that allowed citizens control over their own data.

This entry was posted in Cryptoeconomics, Oppressive government, Technology & Telco. Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to You are a slave to the state

  1. Tintarella di Luna

    And heaven knows what the busybodies at the NDIS will do with the information. I’m opting out and I will also opt out for a family member who has no idea about what the nanny state is trying to do.

    The only people who will be robbed of an opportunity to opt-out and whose records will be there for the hacking, will be the elderly and those who don’t have the internet, people who are mentally ill and unable to access the opt-out option and people who are severely disabled and unable to either physically do anything about it or who are intellectually incapable of comprehending what it is the so-and-soes want to do.

  2. BorisG

    I have no problem with these authorities accessing my boring medical records, and don’t think anyone would entereseted to steal them.

  3. stackja

    To opt out you need a drivers licence.

  4. I opted out, but did I truly opt out?

  5. Egor

    Is your local chemist and your local dentist going to have access to these records? They seem to have a prima facie case to do so….. according to the State.
    What about your physio? Pretty soon doctors of chiropractic in white coats ? Who could omit a curious homeopath?

  6. A Lurker

    In a dystopian Australia of the near future the Government’s My Health Record might well be used as a way to determine which ailing, elderly or otherwise health-compromised citizens would be next up for termination via euthanasia or assisted suicide.

  7. NB

    Here is what the opt out email looks like. Lovely. You can get one for yourself:
    ———————————————————————————————-
    Dear
    This email is a confirmation of your decision not to get a My Health Record.
    You were opted out of the automatic creation of a My Health Record on [date, time].
    Your transaction reference number is …….
    If this is right – you do not need to do anything more.
    If this is wrong – please tell us by calling our Help line on 1800 723 471.
    Regards
    System Operator
    My Health Record
    ———————————————————————————-
    I opted out mainly for the reason that on the rare occasions I have had something wrong beyond the flu I have had to go to one doctor after another to get a correct diagnosis. If each doctor could see the ever-growing trail of visits to various specialists and so on I’d be … well I don’t know what, and I don’t want to find out. Doctors get things wrong very very often. I don’t have a problem with this, the body is complicated and doctors are human, but I do have a huge problem with a system that will close down second, third, fourth, etc opinions. I am in charge of my body, and no-one else.

  8. Mallee Miss

    There is also the wonderful opportunity for the Govt to sell the data to interested companies, or give it to researchers. I know researchers who are salivating at the thought of matching medical data to census data. I know we are told that the data will be de-identified but if you have a modicum of intelligence you can identify individuals from de-identified data. Given some of the recent papers from the Productivity Commission about the importance of sharing data and the very low key moves to adopt a number of recommendations made by these papers, I opted out on the first day and am already thinking about which country I will be visiting during the next census.

  9. .

    A Lurker
    #2772040, posted on July 25, 2018 at 4:11 pm
    In a dystopian Australia of the near future the Government’s My Health Record might well be used as a way to determine which ailing, elderly or otherwise health-compromised citizens would be next up for termination via euthanasia or assisted suicide.

    Also think if AI becomes self-aware and Asimov’s rules go south.

  10. A Lurker

    Also think if AI becomes self-aware and Asimov’s rules go south.

    That is the trouble about being a fan of sci-fi. You get to read about and then imagine all kinds of nasty futures which could very well come to pass.

  11. Tel

    We must throw away all this new enslavement technology and go back to the basic hammer and sickle.

    As they say in Venezuela, “Truly devolutionary, comrade!”

  12. stackja

    Liberty Quote
    The liberty the citizen enjoys is to be measured not by governmental machinery he lives under, whether representative or other, but by the paucity of restraints it imposes upon him.

    — Herbert Spencer

  13. I opted out, but did I truly opt out?

    As I understand it ,a record will still be created, but no data will go into into from any source.

  14. .

    AI is not far off from being “smart” if not self-aware.

    Take “Tay” for example. It was mislead by bad inputs and bad human actors.

    What if an AI system sees maximising votes as its objective?

    Imagine what might get leaked and in what manner if that was the case.

  15. Bring on the barcode tattoo for every registered Australian!

  16. .

    the legislation states that the “protection of the public revenue” is another reason for agencies to access My Health Record data

    I think the only option is to leave. Thank god I don’t have kids yet.

    The ATO are fucking pigs, more like the IRS every day.

    We probably had about 130-140 years of freedom (1856-2001 at a stretch).

    Pack up, Australia is over. A total failure as a real country that has reverted to its penal and authoritarian roots.

  17. Sunni Bakchat

    Here’s what happens in America.
    I go to my medical centre, which is owned by a large state based public university hospital. They offer to enrol me in their online health portal. Works like a dream. My info is private. The federal or state government have nothing to do with it. There is no charge for the portal – it’s included in my doctor’s fees. And no i don’t have insurance and the health care costs are more expensive than Australia but still reasonable.
    Surely there is someone in Australia who could provide the same product? Whether it be hospital/clinic based or simply provided by a commercial third party. At a guess i’d suggest Medicare would strongly resist porting this software to it’s master database. Hence the government issued database that everyone is now opting out of.
    Why is it that in Australia this dynamic exists? Why is it these government departments are funded to set up these totalitarian databases? A great number of Australians will simply trade-off their privacy for the free service. In that respect they’d be not much different than someone who embraces Facebook for free.

  18. Bruce of Newcastle

    The logic is as follows: the state pays for you, the state owns you.

    I’m yet to do my tax return but my impression is that I pay for the state not the other way around.

    However the state, especially the bureaucracy, is not about to dispense with the marvellous surveillance toys that the internet age has brought them. My Health Record is just a small facet of a police state to be, which is coming everywhere.

    China’s nationwide facial recognition system, and their social credit scores for every resident, are the pattern. It’s inevitable.

  19. Pedro the Ignorant

    One scenario comes to mind.
    You are a licensed firearm owner. You go to your doc and are diagnosed with depression or similar, doc prescribes medication.

    Next day the wallopers are on your doorstep demanding you surrender your legally owned gun(s) “to protect the public”.

    It will never happen of course.

  20. Jo Smyth

    I hope we get to know the percentage of people who opt out. I think it will be quite large. If the Government get an inkling their policy isn’t popular and isn’t working, it won’t be long before they make it compulsory.

  21. thefrolickingmole

    Pedro the Ignorant

    Just as sure i am that eventually in the name of “revenue protection” or similar guff they will get access to your banking data details right down to “you brought 140 packets of rollie papers over 15 years so you must pay retrospective tax on all the chop chop we calculate you smoked.

    Or, no new lungs for you pleb, you smoked for 4 years type crap.

  22. Some History

    “Trust me. I’m a politician”.

  23. jupes

    For a government website, the opting out process was remarkably quick and easy.

    I wonder how effective it was or will we find out that perhaps we didn’t opt out after all.

  24. Some History

    I wonder how effective it was or will we find out that perhaps we didn’t opt out after all.

    You opted out. That’s not like opt opt out.

  25. Some History

    Welcome to the Hotel Orwellia

    You can opt out any time you like,
    but you can never leave.

  26. flyingduk

    I not only opted out of the new health record, I ‘opted out’ of doing the compulsory ‘health survey’ which was tucked in my door by the ABS rep 3 months ago. She seemed disappointed when her enquiry as to whether I received the survey elicited the reply ‘yes I shredded it’, as did her telling me ‘its a very important survey to help the government plan for your health care’ and ‘its an offence to refuse to fill it in’. She seemed to have no answer when I told her that ‘no doctor would disclose a patient’s health records without their consent…. and I know that that because I am a doctor, and I don’t consent’. So far so good, no follow up.

  27. Mark A

    Question to those in the know.

    I’m currently overseas and staying till mid Feb next year, tried to opt out but when you stay overseas for more than 6 weeks your medicare card is cancelled, so I couldn’t opt out. Same with my wife.

    My query is, will they create a medical record for me and family? And how can I opt out if the deadline is mid Oct this year?

  28. To be honest I tend to agree with the concept that if you are on welfare the state does own you. In fact, the taxpayer owns you. Then harder it is made for welfare recipients the happier I will be!

  29. Rusty of Qld

    Next the micro chip inserted under the skin. Think this fanciful? The totalitarian state is closer than you think!

  30. calli

    I opted out, but did I truly opt out?

    It’s the Hotel California of databases, but at least you’ve signalled your intent.

    Thanks Sinclair for the link.

  31. A Lurker

    Next the micro chip inserted under the skin. Think this fanciful? The totalitarian state is closer than you think!

    …and you’ll likely have no idea that one is implanted because it will be inserted under your skin when you attend a hospital or clinic for a minor surgical procedure or operation.

  32. calli

    Sorry, Some History. Should have scrolled up.

  33. hzhousewife

    but when you stay overseas for more than 6 weeks your medicare card is cancelled,

    Huh? Can you clarify? I have never heard of this happening.

  34. Jock

    reading about twiggys global slavery index was interesting. i dont doubt there are modern slaves but the rather wide definition. frankly are we slaves who have no say against the ATO or parliament. is the minority in thrall to the majority. we are told , not requested , to do things by the police, courts, government. in many things we have no choice. thinking about this I recalled that many nations have conscription. during war this is basically a complsory use of ones life in defence of the state. Isnt this truly slavery? i recall the spartan helots were simply slaves. Perhaps the definition is ok but there hasnt been enough care in the calculation?

  35. hzhousewife

    Mark, I opted out by going online, revealing my full name and date of birth, and entering one piece of identifying data, in my case the computer accepted my Passport number but rejected my Drivers licence number. SO another trusted person could concievably do this on your behalf, because the computer does not take your fingerprint or photograph, any other identifier. Oh, you need to enter your email for confirmation OR write down a confirmation number. It is very easy.

  36. Mark A

    hzhousewife
    #2772218, posted on July 25, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    but when you stay overseas for more than 6 weeks your medicare card is cancelled,

    Huh? Can you clarify? I have never heard of this happening.

    Well if not, then why wasn’t my medicare card called an invalid number? I entered it 3 times for no result.

    I have it with me because in case of a non emergency condition I can nip over to Slovenia for hospital treatment. Aus. has a reciprocal agreement with them and we didn’t have a problem getting help when I had my accident years ago.

    I can try again with my driver’s license, but was under the impression that you’d need both?

  37. Mark A

    PS I got it now, changed my tax status to non-resident and don’t pay the levy.
    Forgot all about that.

  38. Galeoturpis

    My health record

    We are in this position because the vast bulk of Australians take little responsibility for their health and health information.

    Government
    1. why should they pay for many repeat tests because old tests are difficult to access?
    2. It can be a huge data source for population and public health studies – the UK has 2 huge databases (hospital &GP) which is a great resource.
    3. State governments already share this information intra-state

    Doctors
    1. Data isn’t information which isn’t knowledge. 99% of the inputs by nurses, OTs, physios etc. is garbage and makes it difficult to search for useful information. Junior doctor summaries are always rushed and rarely an accurate summary. Specialist opinions are difficult to find.
    2. Very few old records are ever reviewed

    Threats
    1. An unstable 12 year old identifies her 18 year old boyfriend who she had rough sex with.
    2. Psychiatric notes should include all forensic history, sexual history etc
    3. Patients identified as having dissociative disorder, post traumatic stress etc are generally easy to hypnotise. In the hands of the unscrupulous or data breaches, they could face disaster.
    4. Personality traits/ disorders are listed – powerful predictors of biting behaviour – most One nation supporters are paranoid; dependent personalities support left wing parties; narcissists become PM
    5. Even now , no one should ever admit to smoking or drinking – one gets hounded by alcohol and other drug services; cardiac surgeons will downgrade urgency of procedures.

    I have unsubscribed to the scheme but it does mean that I will have to take the precaution of compiling my own health record on a portable hard drive.

  39. Galeoturpis

    Sorry -autocorrect . 99% are
    Biting behaviour should read as hypnotisability

  40. a reader

    I happen to know that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority was one of the first to request metadata. What would they do to our medical certification process that they control if they had this info too?

  41. Mark A

    Mark A
    #2772229, posted on July 25, 2018 at 8:42 pm
    I have it with me because in case of a non emergency condition I can nip over to Slovenia for hospital treatment. Aus. has a reciprocal agreement with them

    Looks like that’s out for me now. Fair enough too.

  42. Bruce in WA

    Never had any problem with our Medicare card when overseas, but our Seniors Health Card was cancelled when we were one day over the 6 weeks.

    Then a week later a new one arrived …

  43. Some History

    Sorry, Some History. Should have scrolled up.

    Not at all.

    Gr8 minds…. 🙂

  44. Haydenlee

    Actually, a chip with medical history, readable only by on site professionals, seems a much better idea.
    A grownup Australia card…?

  45. Mark A

    Bruce in WA
    #2772273, posted on July 25, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    Never had any problem with our Medicare card when overseas, but our Seniors Health Card was cancelled when we were one day over the 6 weeks.

    Don’t have one of those yet, but I changed my employer (now an EU one) and wasn’t clear about tax arrangement and declaring non-resident status was suggested.

    I intend to move work-wise permanently to Europe it seemed like the best solution.
    But nothing ever is as simple as they look.
    Lots more paperwork on retirement, not that I expect any pension but after nearly 35 years of paying a lot of taxes, maybe something?

  46. Peter Pickled

    The argument for medical history is from first responders. Here’s a solution for under $20..

  47. .

    I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!

    Mrs Simmons, we’re summoning an ambulance.

    A wild paramedic appears!

    Rolls 2D6+4 to administer TNT pills.

    40 HP restored!

    The government plan involves revenue protection.

    That is no laughing matter.

    Warrantless snooping under the guise of confiscating wealth.

  48. rickw

    law enforcement bodies that would be able to access Australians’ sensitive medical records if they held a “reasonable belief” it would be necessary to prevent a crime.

    Future crimes?!

    This is from the arseholes who will stand by and idly watch your property being destroyed?!

    Incapable of handling crimes in progress and they want to expand into future crimes?!

    What about Thought Crimes?

  49. Michael

    Haven’t yet opted out, but given the problems with the Census rollout and the teacher Ultranet a few years ago, I’m sceptical that My Health Record will work anyway.

  50. .

    teacher Ultranet

    Wow, that seems pretty damned ominous.

    Please explain!

  51. Habib

    Just bailed, they ask an inordinate number of questions to let you provide less personal information to the state. They are our enemy.

  52. rickw

    Just bailed, they ask an inordinate number of questions to let you provide less personal information to the state. They are our enemy.

    Cute isn’t it. By “opting out” they just managed to establish a firm link to your passport or drivers license.

    Complete fucking communists.

  53. Eyrie

    “I happen to know that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority was one of the first to request metadata.”
    The Civil Aviation Safety Authority should be fucked and burnt.

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