Policy Statements (c. 40)

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Census 2016

NEW:Board member Katina Michael on 'The Data Key Hole: Privacy, Security and Civil Liberties ';
NEW: Past APF Chair Anna Johnston's 'Why I'm taking leave of my Census';
NEW: APF's first and second letter to PM;
Thoughtworks open letter;
Privacy and the 2016 Census by former statistician Bill McLennan, and IA version with external links

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has decided to permanently keep names and addresses for the Census due this year. The purpose of the Census is meant to be to collect aggregated data for planning purposes. It is a breach of trust to turn it into a giant database with highly personal information linked to our names and addresses.

The APF is campaigning against these changes. Please get involved in the campaign by complaining to your local member and the ABS.

See APF's Census page for more.

Privacy and Health-Care Data

The Australian Privacy Foundation recognises that electronic records carefully designed to support clinicians can assist with health care.

These record systems need to enable health professionals to make better decisions, be intuitive to use, be adaptable and in no way make their jobs harder than they are already.

Unfortunately, simplistic IT solutions that gather large amounts of raw, un-managed patient data, which can be matched with other data sources, which are onerous to use, and which are easily accessible over the internet can create far more insidious problems than they solve. In our opinion the My Health Record falls into all these categories.

Furthermore, the gung-ho attitude of technology specialists and the politically driven decision to make the My Health Record opt-out means that patient trust, patient choice and patient care are being put at major risk.

The government should take a long hard look at the reality of the My Health Record and realise that opt-out is not a good idea. It should certainly not try and move the health data of the whole Australian population into it such a poorly designed and risky system.

APF provides a more balanced view of the My Health Record System than the government's promotional materials:
APF's MyHR Campaign Page
APF's Information Page on MyHR

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