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Aussie govt backs down over privacy concerns

Paul Brislen, Editor. 01 August 2018, 8:00 am

The Australian government has backed down over the launch of its controversial online health records project, MyHealth.

Australians had been protesting about the lack of clarity relating to privacy issues, access to records and the ability to amend existing or erroneous data. The government had put a deadline on opting out of the system (October 15) but opponents are saying that needs to be extended while the problems with the system are worked out.

Yesterday the Australian Acting Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk said the public were right to be concerned about privacy implications.

"Australians rightly are asking questions around the security and privacy of that information and this is a very important opportunity for there to be that debate and certainly I welcome it," she said.

Today, the Australian health minister, Greg Hunt, has bowed to pressure and will introduce a new amendment to address the issue.

"The amendment will ensure no record can be released to police or government agencies, for any purpose, without a court order," he said in a written statement.

Australians now have an additional month in order to opt out of the scheme if they so wish.


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