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Legislative changes to tighten privacy and security protections for My Health Record

In response to a growing privacy backlash, the Federal Government has announced legislative changes to My Health Record to restrict access by law enforcement and government agencies and allow records to be deleted by those who choose to withdraw from the system, with the opt out period also expected to be extended.

“This policy requires a court order to release any My Health Record information without consent. The amendment will ensure no record can be released to police or government agencies, for any purpose, without a court order,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said.

"The Digital Health Agency's policy is clear and categorical – no documents have been released in more than six years and no documents will be released without a court order.

"This will be enshrined in legislation. This change to the My Health Record Act will therefore remove any ambiguity on this matter."

The current legislation allows the disclosure of health information for law enforcement purposes and ‘protection of the public revenue’ without court orders.

The 15 October deadline for Australians to opt-out of My Health Record is also expected to be extended by one month.

Hunt said the government has moved quickly to respond to community outrage and medical fraternity advice in implementing additional privacy and security protections.

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(Source: Healthcare IT News)



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