Though you may have already forgotten it exists, the deadline to opt out of the controversial My Health Record is coming up soon. If you've been meaning to get around to opting out, or just haven't made a decision either way yet, now's the time to get up and do it.
If you haven't caught up since My Health Record was first introduced earlier this year, there have been some recent changes to the system that might make it a little more tempting to stay opted in. Privacy concerns have been addressed, and the ability of non-medical bodies to access your health data has been restricted, now requiring a court order.
It's also been made easier to cancel an existing My Health Record: now if you cancel your record (including after the opt-out date), all of your data will be deleted fully from the system. That being said, if you don't want the record created for you in the first place, you have less than a week to enact that.
Amid mounting pressure from privacy activists and a public concerned by how their medical data will be used, Health Minister Greg Hunt has announced a number of changes to be made to the My Health Record rollout, from what happens when you cancel a record to restrictions around who can access the data.
Despite these changes, concerns about My Health Record remain. There is still a fear that poorly managed data could lead to catastrophic breaches for those with personal medical information stored in their My Health Record, and others are concerned about potential discrimination arising from medical professionals' knowledge of previous unrelated conditions or treatments.
Check out our arguments for and against opting out here:
It will benefit some, sure. But the privacy risks far outweigh the benefits for most.
If you've decided to opt out, you can do it over the internet at this page, or you can call 1800 723 471 and do it over the phone.