Do you know you only have until Nov 15th to opt out of My Health Record?
‘opt-out’ set ups are disrespectful and strategically ensure passive consent
I attended an info session a couple of weeks ago, where the presenter was an IT specialist. His job was to ‘reassure’ attendees about My Health Record.
What he did, inadvertently, was confirm to me that ‘opt-out’ set ups are disrespectful and strategically ensure passive consent. He explained how you control your record, how you can change the settings, determine what is shared and with whom and when. This is all, apparently, linked together via your my gov account. All this assumes ready access to the internet and technical ability, full understanding of the system and awareness of the record in the first place. The defaults, just as with facebook, are to share everything with everybody.
I ask him about people without ready access to the internet, he suggested they use an ‘authorised representative’ to act on their behalf. There are members of our community who can only access the internet on a computer via local libraries, and have limited, if any mobile access. Are they expected to open their private account in a public space on a public computer? He tried to assure me that their were multiple layers of protection, but this missed the point about ready accessibility.
It is a time consuming and overwhelming process to change the default settings. As a healthy middle aged person, you may find yourself managing the records of yourself, your elderly parents and your underage children. I hope you don’t have any hobbies!
If you opt-out now, you can always opt-in
if the system proves to be a useful tool for you.
If you do nothing, a My Health Record will be created for you. The first time you visit a healthcare provider after it is created, it will be activated, with a health history generated in the default settings. Once in, you can opt-out…but just like any online activity, can you ever really delete anything?
If in doubt, Opt-out.
Take the extra time to understand the system, when it might be useful and when it might be more hassle than it’s worth. Watch what happens, talk to others about their experiences.
Opt-in with a grin!
If you determine it is right for you, advance knowing you have made the right choice for you. Accept it fully, with ownership and responsibility. This is your opportunity to Opt-in with a grin! Actively Consenting now (by an informed do nothing) or by opting in later, rather than ignoring this by passively consenting means you can make the most of this (potentially useful) tool.
For more see my commentary on Opt-in setups compared to Opt-out:
This is an important decision to make, for you and your dependents.
see also (written by others):