- Hamish Barwick (Computerworld)
- 09 October, 2013 14:02
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
The Privacy Commissioner Releases Some Invaluable Research On Public Attitudes To Health Information Privacy.
This report appeared a few days ago.
Only 9 per cent of respondents considered social media websites trustworthy
Nearly half of Australians surveyed by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) cited social media websites as the greatest risk to their privacy.
The Community Attitudes to Privacy survey was conducted in June 2013 with 1000 Australians by Wallis Consulting Group.
It found that 48 per cent of Australians believe online services, including social media, pose a privacy risk while only 9 per cent of respondents considered social media websites to be trustworthy when it came to protecting their privacy.
Australian Information Commissioner, Professor John McMillan, said the survey results confirm there's a growing concern in the community about privacy risks associated with social media since the survey was last conducted in 2007.
The survey also found that consumers want data security protection to be similar in both the public and private sectors. For example, 96 per cent of survey participants expect to be informed if their information is lost by a government agency or public company.
“The Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Bill 2012 which comes into law in March 2014 will increase protection around the handling of Australian information that is transferred off-shore, and it will be interesting to see how attitudes change as a result of this,” he said.
Lastly, survey participants were asked whether certain industries were trustworthy. The three most trustworthy industries were health service providers, trusted by 90 per cent of participants; financial institutions, trusted by 74 per cent (up from 58 per cent in 2007); and government, trusted by 69 per cent of respondents.
The full article is here:
That health providers are pretty trusted is important. That news laws are coming is under recognised I suspect - there are some pretty big changes happening in just a few months.
Here are the relevant links:
On health information privacy there are some very interesting findings.
Respondents were asked to nominate which of four options best described their views on access to health information (multiple responses had been allowed previously).
Q22 Which of the following four options best describes when you think it would be ok for your doctor to share your health information with other health professionals?
Australians displayed quite different opinions with one in three saying that: such information could be transferred without their consent to treat the specific problem at hand (31%); or that consent should always be sought (31%). A quarter of people (25%) take a more relaxed approach, saying that they are happy for information to be shared between health providers for anything to do with their health. A further one in eight (13%) are happy for information to be transferred in serious or life-threatening cases. While the question was asked differently in previous surveys, the pattern of response is similar to the past.
In 2007, just over one in three people (35%) felt that the transfer of health information is appropriate when the purpose is related to the condition being treated. A similar proportion (25%) stated health information should not be transferred unless they ask the patient for their consent. One in four people were happy for their information to be transferred if it had to do with their health, while less than two in ten respondents (17%) said it would be acceptable if they had a serious or life threatening condition. There was no variation in gender or age.
Chart 11 shows that the number of Australians prepared to accept their doctor discussing personal health details with other professionals without consent has increased over time from six in ten (59%) in 2007, to two thirds (66%) in 2013.
This shift has been driven by a large difference in the views of people at both ends of the working spectrum. Whereas in 2007, half (53%) of white collar and six in ten (59%) of blue collar workers agreed with this proposition, in 2013 the proportions are six in ten (63%) and three quarters (76%). People living in blue collar households remain the most accepting of this, but all other sectors of society have drawn closer in their opinions.
Women and men continue to hold slightly different views with seven in ten men (72%) and six in ten women (60%) now supporting their doctors discussing their health details without consent. This support has increased amongst both sexes since 2007 (64% and 55% respectively then).
Q23 To what extent do you think your doctor should be able to discuss your personal medical details with other health professionals in a way that identifies you without your consent if they believe this will assist your treatment?
Age does not seem to have a strong impact on this relationship. However, older people (aged 35+ years) were more likely to be accepting of their doctor discussing personal health details with other professionals without their consent (68%) in comparison to younger people (aged 18-34 years) (60%).
Here is the direct link to the material and charts:
I think there is a real warning in these results regarding the need to have consent when transferring health information. I suspect this is going to force considerable workface change over the coming years.
A very useful survey indeed.
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Tuesday, October 15, 2013