Tuesday, March 07, 2017

I Have To Say This Is Just An Outrage And Violates Any Sense Of Confidence I Have In Government Curating My Private Information.

This appeared earlier last week.

Commissioner confirms privacy 'override' provisions exist

By Paris Cowan on Feb 28, 2017 4:44PM

Following release of Centrelink data to media.

Privacy commissioner Timothy Pilgrim has confirmed agency-specific laws can "override" the Privacy Act and hand some public service bosses the power to disclose personal information.
Pilgrim and his assistant commissioner Andrew Solomon, were busy making calls to the Department of Human Services’ legal officers this morning following revelations that the agency gave details about an individual, Andie Fox, and her welfare debt dispute to Fairfax.
The details were handed over in response to an article criticising Centrelink written by Fox, also published by Fairfax.
It was one of many barbs pushed at Centrelink since late last year over its management of automated debt recovery proceedings using what has been described as a flawed data matching algorithm.
Earlier today, Human Services Minister Alan Tudge insisted the agency was well within its rights to release Fox's personal information.
“In cases where people have gone to the media with statements that are incorrect or misleading … we are able under the Social Services Act to release information about the person for the purposes of correcting a mistake of fact, a misleading perception or impression, or a misleading statement in relation to a welfare recipient. That is what the law allows," he said.
Pilgrim, who appeared before senate estimates today, confirmed there are cases when laws governing the operation of a government organisation can effectively “override” the Privacy Act.
“In the Privacy Act there is a provision that allows for the disclosure of information when it is authorised or required by law,” he said.
Lots more here:
And later in the week this appeared.

Govt seeks power to publicise private health records

| 3 March, 2017  
The Federal Government is giving itself new powers to publish individual veterans' healthcare information if authorities feel there is "misinformation in the community".
The powers are contained in the Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment (Digital Readiness and Other Measures) Bill, currently before parliament.
If passed, it will allow the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) to reveal any information a veteran has given the department — including details of what medical care they are claiming — if it is in the “public interest”.
In February, the government argued that the reforms were necessary because misinformation was damaging the integrity of the DVA programs.
The government said that, in at least 12 situations over the past four years, it had wanted to release personal details to correct alleged misinformation, although it did not go into the specifics of these situations.
The draft Bill defines public interest as any “threat to life, health or welfare” but also includes “mistakes of fact, research and statistical analysis [and] misinformation in the community”.
Lots more here:
So it is one in all in! This is the most powerful case yet for choosing very carefully what information you give to the government – especially in regard to sensitive information you want to keep to yourself.
It seems pretty clear we have at least some rather thuggish politicians who are no respecter of people’s rights. There were other ways of handling their concerns beyond just public exposure!
You put your private information in the myHR at your own risk!
David.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well basically David the Department was acting well within the law to do what it did to redress the ?? apparent misinformation put into the public arena by Andie Fox.

This is quite legal and very clear: “In cases where people have gone to the media with statements that are incorrect or misleading … we are able under the Social Services Act to release information about the person for the purposes of correcting a mistake of fact, a misleading perception or impression, or a misleading statement in relation to a welfare recipient. That is what the law allows," he said.

Even so David - I have to agree with you that it was a crude and unnecessary way to deal with the issue and the Department and bureaucrats involved, including the responsible Minister, should have had more sense instead of getting up on their high horse and attempting to intimidate Andie Fox.

How better would it have been all round if they had asked her to come in (or may I suggest if they went to see her) and resolved the issue without the public brouhaha and confrontation.

Anonymous said...

This is totally unacceptable and should be the death nell for the PCEHR. The privacy of medical information is a vital plank in public trust and they have just killed any trust that existed, which admittedly was not much. This should be generating outrage but it looks like 1984 has arrived a little late. ?SOMA in the water.

Anonymous said...

11:22am. Agree but what can the people do, absolutely nothing, it is to small a monetary figure and accountability is like inclusiveness and consultative, meaningless to these bullies.

Anonymous said...

And like the average Australian who will get coerced into a PCEHR/MyHR record will be informed about all the ins and outs of the legalities, including this one, especially if it goes opt-out. So much for them advertising it is a "private and secure" system that you have control over.
The plan to try and publish veterans health information is despicable. Some of these people are very fragile. Details of medical care they are receiving/claiming should be sacrosanct and who gets to decide if it is in the “public interest”? That's very open to interpretation, even using their so-called definition.
What is so wrong with our system of government these days that they resort to bullying, standover, punitive measures to try and keep people quiet, rather than do they do their job properly.

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

"Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty." Basil Barnhill. 1914