Trusting any government or non-government source to secure personal data is of concern to many people. It is well known that such breaches in personal data can have disastrous outcomes. It is not surprising that dark web identity hackers would find the My Health Record, an enticing challenge.
Australians have been waging a war against the ‘Australia card’ and various incarnations, since it was first raised at a national Tax Summit in 1985.
The objective then, was to amalgamate other government identification systems to act against tax avoidance and health and welfare fraud. The legislation was introduced in the parliament in 1986 but failed to gain a majority in the Senate and was repeatedly blocked by the opposition and minor parties.
Enter the tax file number scheme, which enables cross-referencing of benefits received and tax paid to individuals.
The Liberal Party had another go, post the London bombing in 2005, and plans to increase the capabilities of the Medicare card where announced under Minister Joe Hockey (Human Services). Implementation was thwarted by a defeat of the Howard Government and many Australians breathed a collective sigh of relief.
The Financial Systems Inquiry held around the same time identified that significant savings would be realised, however due to the majority of Australians who remained unconvinced of the government’s security of online identification, it was shelved. Until now.
With the advent of the hotly contested NBN policy, staged roll out and abject service failure experienced by thousands of citizens across Australia, increases in complaints for poor service are as follows: up by 39.3% in Queensland, 36.5 % in Western Australia, 33.1% in Tasmania, 30.5 % in Victoria, 27.9% in NSW, 22.7% in South Australia, 20% in Northern Territory and 11% in ACT.
It is not surprising, that citizens are questioning the Australian Government’s capacity to deliver on technology and service?
There are a range of issues with the My Health Record to consider, including the aggressive approach in the generation of a record, unless you choose to opt out before October 15, 2018.
Parents have the right to ‘opt out’ on behalf of their children, and those aged over 14 are able to opt out for themselves. Does this reflect a policy shift regarding general age consent?
There are options for children aged 14 -18 to keep their medical records private from their parents. No doubt that the majority of Gen Z’s will be able to do so without too much hassle. How will this effect choices regarding pregnancy or gender identification for a young person?
In principle, having a system where all your blood tests, prescriptions, diagnoses, vaccinations and allergies are recorded in one place sounds smart. You can link your Advance Care directives here as well, which records your wishes for varying stages of your physical decline. However, as the Health Record itself states it should not be relied upon as a clinical record.
Is Aldous Huxley’s dystopian future just a little closer when such information could be obtained by security breach, and used to make decisions regarding an individual’s suitability for employment, procreation analysis or as a direct marketing tool?
And then there is a small matter of identity theft. Access to personal information such as your name, date of birth, address and other details enable fraudsters to open bank accounts, obtain credit cards, start an illegal business or apply for a passport.
Will the 98,000 plus Generation X and Y who are now on the electoral roles after the Marriage Law Postal Survey agree or disagree with this government intervention?
The lofty aim may be to provide the medical profession instant access to knowledge to save your life, act as a mechanism to reduce pharmaceutical abuse by control and to house end of life options and donor registrations.
Huxley is quoted as espousing, ‘Within the next generation, I believe that the world’s leaders will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis, are more efficient as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging them and kicking them into obedience’.
Will those who opt out, have identified themselves as ‘non-complaint’ and potential troublemakers? If you are over 50, you will not rate with much interest. After all it is the largely the younger generations that will keep the wheels of industry spinning to generate taxable incomes and to support the needs of the ageing populations.It may be unfurling slower than expected by Huxley, who was a futurist and activist, however controls are in place now, to monitor citizens to ensure that harmony is maintained and the wheels are moving.
Perhaps resistance is futile. Try telling that to the French or the recent LGBTQI movement. As defined by Wikipedia.org, resistance is an organised effort to withstand the legally established government or occupying power with the objective to disrupt civil order and stability.
It can also be simply active resistance to an ideological belief or perceived cultural norm. It is not terrorism to express your democratic right for privacy.
To read more regarding the reasons to opt out: