A series of My Health Record 'data breaches' have been downplayed as 'administrative errors' by the Australian Digital Health Agency.
A child has had an incorrect guardian assigned to their My Health Record in just one of a series of "data breaches" uncovered by the Australian Digital Health Agency.
Seventeen people also had another person’s medical details listed as their own - among 42 data breaches reported by the agency that oversees the medical records system.
Australian Digital Health Agency revealed the ‘breaches’ in their annual report saying “in all instances” the records were later corrected.
The agency’s chief medical advisor, clinical professor Meredith Makeham stressed it was not a malicious attack that comprised the medical records system.
“They constitute alleged fraudulent Medicare claims or human processing errors when there is an administrative error of some kind,” she said.
“There has been no purposeful attack compromising the integrity of the security of the My Health Record system."
The agency is required to report any incident where data could be at risk of being viewed by an unauthorised third party.
Two of the reported breaches saw people's records viewed without their authority by people undertaking “suspected fraudulent activity.”
While, 22 breaches saw “suspected fraud” involving unauthorized Medicare claims being submitted. These incorrect records later appearing in the data of those accounts affected.
Ms Makeham said those affected by the ‘breaches’ were notified in all circumstances and defended them as a “minuscule number" of "human processing errors."
“Human error occurs and it is very, very rare,” she said.
“In none of these cases was anyone’s personal health information actually compromised."
The $2 billion My Health Record has caused controversy over privacy concerns and its ‘opt out’ policy.
Australians have until January 31 to stop personal data being added to the system.
Google also revealed that ‘How to opt-out of My Health Record” was the number one ‘how to’ search by people using the system in 2018.
Ms Makeham said people can opt-out at any time, and see a full audit history of anyone who has accessed their My Health Record.
The system will hold information on all Medicare funded visits to the doctor, medical tests and medications.
There are concerns breaches of this data could lead to personal medical information being revealed.
It could save up to $7 billion a year by avoiding diagnosis, treatment and prescription errors, according to the Australian Digital Health Agency.