It will never happen to us: The likelihood and impact of privacy breaches on health data in Australia

Patricia Williams, Emma Hossack

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    With the recent introduction of the Australian e-health system, health reforms and legislation were passed. Whilst the aim of these health reforms was reasonable and sensible, the implementation was rushed and less than perfect. The Deloitte e-health Strategy [1] which was endorsed by the National Health and Hospital Reform Commission (NHHRC) recommended that based on international experience implementation of shared electronic health records nationally was a ten year journey. In Australia this was condensed into two years. The resultant effect has been that privacy, which is essential for the uptake of technologies to share data in a compliant manner, may be compromised. People trust transparent systems. Where there is a breach in privacy people deserve the respect and right to know about it so that they can mitigate damages and with full disclosure, retain their trust in the system. If this is not evident, the public will refuse to share their information. Hence, whilst the technologies may work, their use may be limited. The consequence of this in Australia would be the continuance of dangerous and inefficient silos of health data.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationHealth Informatics
    Subtitle of host publicationDigital Health Service Delivery - The Future is Now! - Selected Papers from the 21st Australian National Health Informatics Conference, HIC 2013
    PublisherIOS Press
    Number of pages7
    ISBN (Print)9781614992653
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Publication series

    NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
    ISSN (Print)0926-9630
    ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365


    • access to information
    • computer security
    • patient data privacy
    • privacy


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