Opt-Out withdrawal of consent deadline is 15 October 2018
Has Canberra learned the wrong lesson from Cambridge Analytica: abusing ‘informed consent’ gives you a plausible excuse? Exploiting ignorance, inaction and misplaced trust gets you the Big Data?
Our advice on My Health Record, like that of Dr Katherine Kemp, a specialist in data privacy , is to Opt-Out while you still can: we now know that your once-off chance to protect your medical confidentiality begins on 16 June and expires on 15 October 2018.
Tell the government: “Come back when you can ask nicely!”
The Health Minister, Greg Hunt’s recent announcement  of the closing date for your
once-off chance to "Opt-Out" of the government's My Health Record is remarkable not for what it says, but what it doesn’t say. There is no mention that:
There is little evidence that an unreliable, incomplete, out of date summary health record system will be of any value to health professionals. The vast majority of doctors and clinicians already keep reliable electronic medical records for their patients – records they actually use daily to provide care, and can rely on for life and death decisions. The My Health Record is not for use as a medical record, it is designed for other purposes for third party users. In most clinical circumstances, the My Health Record creates an increased workload and a useless duplication, without solving the real problem of interoperable, highly secure, trustworthy clinical records. As a patient, watch your GP next time you have a consultation and observe just how much time the GP spends on their computer. My Health Record will just make this worse, without offering anything reliable or useful for clinical practice, and expose you to risk.
We have yet to see what information the government provides as part of its awareness-raising campaign so everyone knows the government will make a permanent My Health Record about them if they do no Opt Out by 15 October, and the full story so people can make a proper informed choice. The clock is already ticking, but the assumption is that they hope most people do not become aware of the looming deadline of your once-off chance to protect your medical information from a Cambridge Analytica-style data heist, or of the facts suggesting the limited benefit and clear risks of letting the moment pass. They will later be able to insist, like Google and Facebook (but with less cause) that it’s your problem now: silence means consent, so by doing nothing you have legally agreed to let them do it.
Chair Health Committee
Australian Privacy Foundation
Mobile 0411 157 113
Data privacy expert recommends opting out of proposed e-health scheme