My Health Record’s opt-out system in meltdown
The troubled My Health Record system is in meltdown this morning, with overwhelmed call-takers scrambling to deal with the volume of calls and online requests to opt out.
The online system is failing to process requests to opt out, directing visitors to call the My Health Record hotline, only to put them on hold for 45 minutes at a time before those calls ultimately drop out.
One Sydney husband and wife at their offices in separate parts of the city spent 45 minutes each on hold, only for both calls to drop out shortly after 9am.
Even when customers do manage to stay on the phone line, the audio of phone conversations is fading in and out, prompting harassed call-takers to say the system is not coping with the deluge of calls.
"We know the problems, we have advised the supervisors, but the system is overloaded," one call-taker said shortly after at 9am.
"I'm so sorry, this is kind of crucial for my job."
The meltdown comes on the last day before the Government's self-imposed deadline for customers do opt out of the My Health Record, which has been plagued by privacy concerns.
Labor is this morning moving in federal Parliament to extend the opt-out deadline by a year to allow privacy concerns to be addressed before the system goes live.
The meltdown comes after it was revealed yesterday that 99 data breaches had occurred in the controversial My Health Record system in six years but the agency responsible for its rollout insists there has never been a "security or privacy" breach.
Eleven data breaches occurred in just 11 weeks between July and September 13 this year, according to the OAIC's submission to a recent Senate Inquiry into the My Health Record.
A further 88 cases occurred between July 2012 and June this year, including at least eight cases where an unauthorised third party had access to records.
Another case included a MyGov mixup where a number of individuals were linked to the wrong record.
Other cases included Medicare data being uploaded to the wrong account because individuals had similar demographic information, while other cases involved individuals having the incorrect data uploaded because fraudsters made Medicare claims in their name.
Health Minister Greg Hunt defended the digital records, which will be created for every Australian from this Thursday unless individuals opt out.
A spokeswoman for the Minister said: "There has never been a reported security breach of the system."
The extent of the breaches to hit the My Health Record has been revealed by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, which is notified under mandatory reporting laws when a data breach occurs.