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My Health Record data breaches revealed

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There were 37 breaches of Australia’s My Health Record system in 2018-19, according to the overseeing agency’s annual report.

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The Digital Health Agency, which oversees the system, said most were attributable to the administrative errors.

But the report says there had been no purposeful or malicious attacks that compromised the integrity of the My Health Record system.

The agency said the administrative errors were mainly around individual records being used by multiple people, or “processing errors” when creating records for babies.

Four cases had been reported to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, with two breaches involving customers had their records viewed without authority, which the agency said were suspected fraud cases.

One case saw unauthorised access to a child’s record after someone was incorrectly assigned to be a parental representative.

There had been one suspected breach due to unauthorised access to a child’s records but it was later revealed the request was made by the minor’s parent.

The majority of the breaches – 27 – were linked to individual Medicare records being used by two or more individuals.

Seven customers saw unauthorised Medicare claims being made in their name.

Senate estimates in October heard there were nearly as many people are opting back into the government’s digitised national health record system as are opting out.

Health department staffers said 23,528 Australians have cancelled their My Health record since February 22 this year, but 22,129 have opted back in since that date.

While Australian Digital Health Agency chief executive Tim Kelsey said 80 per cent of community pharmacists were uploading dispensed medication data, the annual report said it was only 66 per cent.

It blamed this on “industry sentiment” and said there was a need for further ongoing education.

-AAP

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