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  • Gavin King

    Tropic Now editor

    Email Gavin King

    Government says our online health records are secure in wake of Census fail

    Despite concerns about online data security in the wake of the Census debacle, the Federal Government is reassuring North Queenslanders their health records are safe.

    North Queenslanders are being reassured their private health data now being stored online in a Federal Government trial is safe and secure in the wake of last night's massive Census fail.

    About 580,000 people from Mackay to the Torres Strait had their digital health records automatically created online as part of the My Health Records program, with healthcare professionals having access to the data since 15 July.

    A spokesperson for the Australian Government Department of Health told TropicNow that local residents should not be concerned about hacking attempts because the My Health Record system uses "bank-strength security".

    The system also has "significant controls" in place to mitigate 'denial of service' attacks, the type believed to have caused the meltdown of the Census system last night.

    Despite reassurances of safety and online security by the Department since the trial began in March, nearly 13,000 North Queenslanders have chosen not to get a My Health Record.

    The system operates on an "opt-out" basis, with North Queensland one of only two sites nationally to trial automatic registration.

    "The My Health Record system uses bank-strength security including strong encryption and firewalls, secure logins and audit logging and ongoing surveillance to protect individuals’ personal health information," the Departmental spokesperson said.

    "The privacy and security of individuals’ personal information is taken very seriously.

    "In addition to the privacy protections and security controls, there are penalties that can be applied for anyone who deliberately and intentionally misuses the personal or health information of an individual."

    To check the status of your My Health Record, click here