On 15 August 2018, the Senate referred the following matter to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report:
The My Health Record system, with particular reference to:
- the expected benefits of the My Health Record system;
- the decision to shift from opt-in to opt-out;
- privacy and security, including concerns regarding:
- the vulnerability of the system to unauthorised access,
- the arrangements for third party access by law enforcement, government agencies, researchers and commercial interests, and
- arrangements to exclude third party access arrangements to include any other party, including health or life insurers;
- the Government’s administration of the My Health Record system roll-out, including:
- the public information campaign, and
- the prevalence of ‘informed consent’ amongst users;
- measures that are necessary to address community privacy concerns in the My Health Record system;
- how My Health Record compares to alternative systems of digitising health records internationally; and
- any other matters.
Submissions were sought by 14 September 2018. The reporting date is 8 October 2018. On 19 September 2018, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 12 October 2018. The Committee has sought a further extension to the reporting date and will now report on 17 October 2018. On 17 October 2018, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 18 October 2018.
The Community Affairs Committees have agreed to share relevant evidence in the My Health Record system inquiry and the inquiry into the My Health Records Amendment (Strengthening Privacy) Bill 2018. Only matters related to provisions of the Bill will be considered in the Legislation Committee inquiry.