AU: Medicare privacy breaches 'only the beginning'

Carly Laird reports:

Revelations that Medicare employees are being investigated for spying on customers’ personal information have renewed fears from privacy advocates that healthcare staff cannot be trusted.

As the Federal Government works to bring in a national identity scheme for patients, around 400 cases have emerged of unauthorised snooping on people’s private records over the past four years.

Medicare says it has implemented privacy controls and that the number of cases of snooping has been getting smaller, however it is not known who or how far the information was allowed to spread.

The agency has given few details of how the snooping was allowed to occur and no one from Medicare was available to speak to PM this afternoon.

The privacy commissioner, Karen Curtis, insists Medicare is not ignoring the issue.

“Any privacy breach is a concern, but the fact that Medicare is monitoring and investigating these potential breaches of personal information and they’ve got systems in place, that’s actually good news,” she said.

Read more on ABC (AU)

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