Australian “My Health Record” Was Breached 42 Times Between 2017 and 2018

By Bill Toulas / December 31, 2018

According to the 2017-2018 report published by the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA), their “My Health Record” citizen healthcare information database was breached 42 times. However, none of these breaches were found to be malicious, and the department of human services took timely action to correct any damage done in all instances.

More specifically, there was one breach resulting from unauthorized access to the platform as a result of an incorrect Parental Authorized Representative, two breaches resulting from suspected fraud against the Medicare program, 17 breaches resulting from data integrity activity initiated by the human services department to identify intertwined medicate records, and another 22 breaches from suspected fraudsters who have submitted unauthorized medicate claims using incorrect records. According to the report, none of these breaches resulted in the compromising of the personal information of any of the approximately 6 million people that have registered themselves on the platform.

“My Health Record” is used to help doctors access data such as medicines prescribed to a patient in the past, content related to pathology and diagnostic information such as X-ray scans, automatic hospital, clinic, or doctor allocation, and many more. According to the Australian Government, this online medical platform is the future of medicine, helping Australians avoid hospital admissions, reduce the need for duplicate tests, and coordinate the whole organism of the multiple healthcare providers (178 private and 815 public hospitals) to help people with the most optimal treatment decisions.

However, not everyone sees this platform as a positive development in the national healthcare system, as privacy concerns are high, and the findings of the most recent ADHA report doesn’t help in turning things around on that part. Back in November, the head of ADHA’s privacy department left the “My Health Record” project over privacy concerns that she and her team had repeatedly raised with the senior management, but they were ignored in all cases. In an attempt to play down the concerns, the government announced a significant increase of the penalties that concern the improper use of the platform’s data, more than doubling them from $125,000 to $315,000. The government still gives Australian citizens the option to opt out of getting automatically registered in the system by the end of January, and so far, over a million people have chosen not to be included in “My Health Record”.

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