What the end of My Health opt-out means

My Health Record opt-out cut off is this Thursday

"The opt-out website and the My Health Record Help Line are both operational", the spokesperson said.

Without the minister's intervention, about 17 million Australians would have been automatically enrolled in the e-health system if they did not opt out by Thursday.

The Australian Digital Health Agency, which is responsible for the My Health Record, also explained that Australians have greater ability to personally control their digital health information than other countries around the world.

On Wednesday the Senate narrowly rejected Labor's push to extend the opt-out period by 12 months but passed an amendment for an 11-week extension after a crossbench compromise was accepted by the government.

"To my knowledge, there is now no public disclosure of the precise security controls and technologies deployed for My Health Record, nor have audits been published or even their summaries", Ralph Holz, an expert in cybersecurity from the University of Sydney, tells The Daily Swig.

Australians now have another two months to opt out of the controversial My Health Record system after the government caved to mounting pressure.

Greg Hunt has already conceded several change to strengthen the My Health Record legislation following two senate inquires and criticism from privacy and health groups.

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".

The protections and other changes are awaiting the green light from parliament, with the House of Representatives to resume on November 26.

Among those voicing their concerns was the Australian Rail Tram and Bus Industry Union (RTBU), which said it was anxious that the system would make it easier for employers, as they have in the past, to demand access to health records.


People can access their data online at anytime and adjust how it may be viewed by health professionals and people they trust.

Yes, at the moment people's data can be taken for secondary use purposes, such as research.

"These do not constitute privacy or security breaches to the system", he said. If you don't want your health information shared you must tick a box when you activate your My Health Record.

"There has never been a reported security breach of the system", Hunt said.

My Health Record is described as an "online summary of your health information" that "can be accessed at any time by you and your healthcare providers". There's also the potential for data breaches which could result in your records being used for god knows what.

"There is obvious broad disquiet and substantive community concern: over a million people have opted out; there have been reports of recurrent crashes of the opt-out web site and helpdesk; and the number of people wanting to opt-out seems to have jumped, in line with the recent increased publicity", Robertson-Dunn said last week.

It started as an opt-in scheme - the Coalition government changed it to an opt-out.

If these people end up in hospital in an emergency doctors can access their record and see what medications they are taking and whether they have any allergies.

The opt-out period will be extended until January 31, 2019, however, it's important to note that people can opt-out at any time.

If you decide to opt out of the My Health Record you can do so online here.

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