Showing posts with label privacy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label privacy. Show all posts

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

An insider has finally admitted what any digital native would be well aware of - your personal health information entered into a national database will be no safer that having it up on Facebook


Remembering that a federal government national screening program, working with with a private entity, has already accessed personal information from Medicare without consent of registered individuals and entered these persons into a research program - again without consent - and these individuals apparently could not easily opt out of being listed as a research subject but were often only verbally offered  the option of declining to take part in testing, which presumably meant that health data from other sources was still capable of being collected about them by the program. One has to wonder what the Turnbull Government and medical establishment actually consider patient rights to be in practice when it comes to "My Health Record".

Healthcare IT News, 4 May 2018:

Weeks before the anticipated announcement of the My Health Record opt out period, an insider’s leak has claimed the Australian Digital Health Agency has decided associated risks for consumers “will not be explicitly discussed on the website”.

As the ADHA heads towards the imminent announcement of the three-month window in which Australians will be able to opt out of My Health Record before being signed up to the online health information repository, the agency was caught by surprise today when details emerged in a blog post by GP and member of the steering group for the national expansion of MHR, Dr Edwin Kruys.

Kruys wrote that MHR offers “clear benefits” to healthcare through providing clinicians with greater access to discharge summaries, pathology and diagnostic reports, prescription records and more, but said “every digital solution has its pros and cons” and behind-the-scenes risk mitigation has been one of the priorities of the ADHA. However, he claimed Australians may not be made aware of the risks involved in allowing their private medical information to be shared via the Federal Government’s system.

“It has been decided that the risks associated with the MyHR will not be explicitly discussed on the website,” Kruys wrote.

“This obviously includes the risk of cyber attacks and public confidence in the security of the data.”

The most contentious contribution in the post related to the secondary use of Australians’ health information, the framework of which has yet to be announced by Health Minister Greg Hunt.

Contacted by HITNA, the agency moved swiftly to have Kruys delete the paragraph relating to secondary use.

In the comment that has since been removed, Kruys wrote, “Many consumers and clinicians regard secondary use of the MyHR data as a risk. The MyHR will contain a ‘toggle’, giving consumers the option to switch secondary use of their own data on or off.”

Under the My Health Records Act 2012, health information in MHR may be collected, used and disclosed “for any purpose” with the consent of the healthcare recipient. One of the functions of the system operator is “to prepare and provide de-identified data for research and public health purposes”. 

Before these provisions of the act will be implemented, a framework for secondary use of MHR systems data must be established. 

HealthConsult was engaged to assist the Federal Government in developing a draft framework and implementation plan for the process and within its public consultation process in 2017 received supportive submissions from the Australasian College of Health Informatics, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and numerous research institutes, universities, and clinicians’ groups.

Computerworld, 14 May 2018:

Use of both de-identified data and, in some circumstances, identifiable data will be permitted under a new government framework for so-called “secondary use” of data derived from the national eHealth record system. Linking data from the My Health Record system to other datasets is also allowed under some circumstances.

The Department of Health last year commissioned the development of the framework for using My Health Record data for purposes other than its primary purpose of providing healthcare to an individual.

Secondary use can include research, policy analysis and work on improving health services.

Under the new framework, individuals who don’t want their data used for secondary purposes will be required to opt-out. The opt-out process is separate from the procedure necessary for individuals who don’t want an eHealth record automatically created for them (the government last year decided to shift to an opt-out approach for My Health Record)……

Access to the data will be overseen by an MHR Secondary Use of Data Governance Board, which will approve applications to access the system.

Any Australian-based entity with the exception of insurance agencies will be permitted to apply for access the MHR data. Overseas-based applicants “must be working in collaboration with an Australian applicant” for a project and will not have direct access to MHR data.

The data drawn from the records may not leave Australia, but under the framework there is scope for data analyses and reports produced using the data to be shared internationally……

The Department of Health came under fire in 2016 after it released for download supposedly anonymised health data. Melbourne University researchers were able to successfully re-identify a range of data.

Last month the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner revealed that health service providers accounted for almost a quarter of the breaches reported in the first six weeks of operation of the Notifiable Data Breach (NDB) scheme.


Australians who don't want a personal electronic health record will have from July 16 to October 15 to opt-out of the national scheme the federal government announced on Monday.

Every Australian will have a My Health Record unless they choose to opt-out during the three-month period, according to the Australian Digital Health Agency.

The announcement follows the release of the government’s secondary use of data rules earlier this month that inflamed concerns of patient privacy and data use.


Under the framework, medical information would be made available to third parties from 2020 - including some identifying data for public health and research purposes - unless individuals opted out.

In other news....... 


A cyber attack on Family Planning NSW's website has exposed the personal information of up to 8000 clients, including women who have booked appointments or sought advice about abortion, contraception and other services.

Clients received an email from FPNSW on Monday alerting them that their website had been hacked on Anzac Day.

The compromised data contained information from roughly 8000 clients who had contacted FPNSW via its website in the past 2½ years to make appointments or give feedback.

It included the personal details clients entered via an online form, including names, contact details, dates of birth and the reason for their enquiries….

The website was secured by 10am on April 26, 2018 and all web database information has been secure since that time

SBS News, 14 May 2018:

Clients were told Family Planning NSW was one of several agencies targeted by cybercriminals who requested a bitcoin ransom on April 25…..
The not-for-profit has five clinics in NSW, with more than 28,000 people visiting every year.

The most recent Digital Rights Watch State of Digital Rights (May 2018) report can be found here.

The report’s 8 recommendations include:

Repeal of the mandatory metadata retention scheme

Introduction of a Commonwealth statutory civil cause of action for serious invasions of privacy

A complete cessation of commercial espionage conducted by the Australian Signals Directorate

Changes to copyright laws so they are flexible, transparent and provide due process to users

Support for nation states to uphold the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in the digital age

Expand the definition of sensitive information under the Privacy Act to specifically include behavioural biometrics

Increase measures to educate private businesses and other entities of their responsibilities under the Privacy Act regarding behavioural biometrics, and the right to pseudonymity

Introduce a compulsory register of entities that collect static and behavioural biometric data, to provide the public with information about the entities that are collecting biometric data and for what purpose

The loopholes opened with the 2011 reform of the FOI laws should be closed by returning ASD, ASIO, ASIS and other intelligence agencies to the ambit of the FOI Act, with the interpretation of national security as a ground for refusal of FOI requests being reviewed and narrowed

Telecommunications providers and internet platforms must develop processes to increase transparency in content moderation and, make known what content was removed or triggered an account suspension.

Friday, 11 May 2018

File this under "Yet Another National Database" cross referenced wih "What Could Possibly Go Wrong?"




A massive breach of Commonweath Bank data exposed last week has raised security fears around a new national database of Australian bank customers, as Labor pushes for a delay to part of the scheme's scheduled introduction in less than two months.
The database - set to go live on July 1 - will include the details of every person who has taken out a loan or a credit card, along with their repayment history.

The Mandatory Comprehensive Credit Reporting scheme was a recommendation of the 2014 financial system inquiry and is designed to give lenders access to a deeper, richer set of data to ensure loans are only being approved for people who can afford to repay them.

The new requirements will first apply to the Commonwealth Bank, ANZ Bank, Westpac and National Australia Bank, given they account for up to 80 per cent of lending to households.

But the collection of sensitive data by private companies has raised concerns in the wake of several high-profile data breaches, including the disappearance of 20 million customers records from the Commonwealth Bank.

The Financial Rights Legal Centre and the Consumer Action Law Centre claim the financial details of millions of Australians will be vulnerable under the new scheme - which includes positive and negative credit histories.

Financial Rights Legal Centre policy officer Julia Davis said the development "was a major intrusion into our financial privacy".

"I don’t think Australians realise this is about to happen," she said.

The legislation states all credit reporting bodies must store the information on a cloud service that has been assessed by the Australian Signals Directorate. It also contains a provision allowing banks to stop supplying customer data to credit providers should there be a major security breach.

Ms Davis said the oversight was welcome but the internal systems of credit reporting bodies remained "completely opaque."

"Once that data goes live in the one place you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube," she said.

Equifax, one of the companies which will have access to the data, had its systems in the US hacked last year, exposing the personal information of 143 million Americans and triggering to the resignation of its chief executive.

It is also being sued by consumer watchdog the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission over allegations it misrepresented its product to consumers by asking them to pay for their own credit histories which are usually available online for free.

The company's general manager of external relations, Matthew Strassberg, said Equifax had "only been a marquee above the door for six months," after the US giant took over the Australian operation formerly known as Veda.

He said the credit reporting business would provide "a 360 degree picture."
"A bank will have a very deep insight into what they know of you," he told Fairfax Media.

Mr Strassberg said he recognised that Australians were concerned about data security…..

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Is Telstra selling customer location data? Did it ever specifically request permission from account holders?





Telstra is making money by on-selling location data from its customers' mobile phones in similar deals to a partnership with the Bureau of Statistics that caused a public backlash last week.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics came under fire for partnering with the telco for a study in 2016, which used mobile phone data showing how many people were in particular suburbs hour by hour.

Similar data is now available for a fee, after the Location Insights program was quietly launched by the telco in July 2016. The Australian Bureau of Statistics was the first licensee under the program, but has not used Telstra's Location Insights since then.
Data available to Telstra's clients can be broken down into 15 minute increments, and demographics broken down by age groups and gender. The smallest geographic areas available for analysis are the same as the Australian Bureau of Statistics' smallest statistical area, which have an average population of 400 people and could have as few as 200 people.

In a video used to spruik the service by Telstra, potential customers are listed as local governments and transport companies. It’s not clear how many organisations have used the service, or what the price tag is for such information.

“Imagine if you could know what is happening in your community, region, or city hub, every 15 minutes,” a voiceover in the Youtube video promoting the program said.
“Telstra Location Insights builds industry-specific metrics where data sets are used for modelling purposes and then extrapolated to estimate for the entire population,” a Telstra spokesman said.

“These metrics are aggregated spatially and temporally before differential privacy and k-anonymisation are both applied to completely anonymise the data.”

This explanation is not accepted by senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne Vanessa Teague.

“In order to know whether those things actually work, we need to see what the parameters are and how they're applied to the data in order to be assured that they’re applied correctly and they work,” Dr Teague said.

Dr Teague is chair of the Cybersecurity and Democracy Network and was part of a team of researchers who re-identified patient health records from Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme data that was released by the government.

“It's possible that [anonymising the data] has been done correctly, it's also possible that they think it’s been done correctly but they’re wrong. And really the only way to assess that is to get a clear and detailed technical description of what they've done,” Dr Teague said.

“If they've done it right then there's no reason to be secretive about the details of what they’ve done, if they’ve done it wrong then they are better off getting a genuine open assessment of it so they can find out sooner rather than later.”

Telstra said the use of the information was in line with its privacy statement, which states that customers’ information could be shared with “our dealers, our related entities or our business or commercial partners and other businesses we work with”.


Dr Teague is sceptical about that explanation. “Just because a company holds highly sensitive information about you doesn’t mean that that data is their property that they should then be able to turnaround and sell without asking you,” she said.


Now when I read Telstra's privacy statement I do not recall that it mentioned that it would be selling mobile phone location information in SA1 statistical level data bundles captured at 15 minute intervals (as mentioned in the news article) and, that those bundles could be used to create data sets which track an individual's movements over time in relatively fine detail.

Yamba in the Clarence Valley NSW is a quiet little town with a population of approx. 6,076 persons living in 3,820 dwellings spread across est. 16 SLA1 statistical levels and in over 100 even smaller statistical Mesh Blocks.




I suspect that many Yamba residents will not be happy with the idea that Telstra Corporation Limited will alllow their movements to be tracked and their daily habits predicted if an individual, private company, government agency or political party pays them for the town's mobile phone location data.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

The man who would be prime minister


“In terms of ministerial oversight, the portfolio has the following ministers: the Minister for Home Affairs, who sits in the cabinet and who is also separately sworn as the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection; the Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs; the Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity; and the Assistant Minister for Home Affairs. The core functions of the department are policy, strategy, planning and coordination in relation to the domestic security and law enforcement functions of the Commonwealth as well as managed migration and the movement of goods across our borders…..four portfolio agencies that sit alongside the department, which are statutorily independent, but they are within the portfolio. They all, like me, report to the cabinet minister. The Australian Federal Police, ACIC, AUSTRAC and Australian Border Force. That is four. Then, with the passage of relevant legislation that is currently before the parliament, ASIO will move across soon.  [Secretary Dept. of Home Affairs Michael Pezullo at Senate Estimates Hearing, Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee, 26 February 2018]

The worry about concentration of political power per se and that power in inappropriate hands…….

The Saturday Paper, 28 April 2018:

Peter Dutton is arguably the most powerful person in the country. In his new ministry he has oversight for national security, for the Federal Police, Border Force and ASIO, for the law enforcement and emergency management functions of the Attorney-General’s Department, the transport security functions of the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities, the counterterrorism and cybersecurity functions of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the multicultural affairs functions of the Department of Social Services, and the entire Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

It is hard to imagine any member of federal parliament less suited to exercise the sort of powers now held by Dutton. It is easy to argue that no minister should be entrusted with such vast powers. But the fact that those powers are in Dutton’s hands is seriously alarming.

Ministerial powers are subject to limits. The rule of law means that the limits are subject to supervision by the judicial system. Most ministers understand that. Dutton apparently does not…..

On April 7, 2018, Dutton called for “like-minded” countries to come together and review the relevance of the 1951 Refugee Convention.

So, here it is: Australia’s most powerful minister is wilfully mistreating innocent people at vast public expense. He is waging a propaganda war against refugees and against the people who try to help them. And he is trying to persuade other countries to back away from international human rights protection.

He tries to make it seem tolerable by hiding it all away in other countries, so that we can’t see the facts for ourselves. [my yellow highlighting]

Evidence that the community concern is justified…….

MSM News, 29 April 2018:

Ministers are planning to make it easier for the government to spy on its own citizens, a leaked document has revealed.

As it stands, the Australian Federal Police and Australian Security Intelligence Organisation need a warrant from The Attorney-General to access Australians' emails, bank records and text messages.

But ministers are reportedly planning to amend the Intelligence Services Act of 2001 to allow Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and Defence Minister Marise Payne to give the orders without the country's top lawyer knowing

The intelligence - which could include financial transactions, health data and phone records - would be collected by a government spy agency called the Australian Signals Directorate. 

The plan was revealed by a leaked letter from Home Affairs Secretary Mike Pezzullo to Defence Secretary Greg Moriarty.

The top secret letter, written in February and seen by The Sunday Telegraph, details a plan to 'hack into critical infrastructure' to 'proactively disrupt and covertly remove' cyber-enabled criminals including child exploitation and terror networks. 
In March, the plan was outlined in a ministerial submission signed by Mike Burgess, the chief of the Australian Signals Directorate.

It states: 'The Department of Home Affairs advises that it is briefing the Minister for Home Affairs to write to you (Ms Payne) seeking your support for a further tranche of legislative reform to enable ASD to better support a range of Home Affairs priorities.'
But a proposal to change the law has not yet been made.

A spokesman for the Defence Minister Ms Payne said: 'There has been no request to the Minister for Defence to allow ASD to counter or disrupt cyber-­enabled criminals onshore.' 
      
An intelligence source told The Sunday Telegraph that the proposals could spell danger for Australians.

'It would give the most powerful cyber spies the power to turn on their own citizens,' the source said.

The letter also outlines 'step-in' powers which could force companies to hand over citizens' data, the source added.

The submission says the powers would help keep Australian businesses and individuals safe. [my yellow highlighting]

The inherent dishonesty of the Dept. of Home Affairs…..

Secretary of Department of Home Affairs Michael Pezullo, Senate Estimates, Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee, 26 February 2018, denying the possibility of by-passing the judiciary and “the country's top lawyer”:

As I said at the last estimates meeting of this committee, all executive power is subject to the sovereignty of this parliament and to the supremacy of the law. In bringing the security powers, capabilities and capacities of the Commonwealth together into a single portfolio, these fundamentals will remain in place. All of them are crucial attributes of liberty. I repeat what I said last year to this committee: any contrary suggestion that the establishment of Home Affairs will somehow create an extra judicial apparatus of power bears no relationship to the facts or to how our system of government works, and any suggestion that we in the portfolio are somehow embarked on the secret deconstruction of the supervisory controls which envelop and check executive power are nothing more than flights of conspiratorial fancy that read into all relevant utterances the master blueprint of a new ideology of undemocratic surveillance and social control. [my yellow highting]

Ministerial denial - of sorts....

When confronted by the mainstream media Dutton supported government spying on its citizens, saying he believes there is a case to be made for giving the Australian Signals Directorate more powers to investigate domestic cyber threats, with appropriate safeguards in place and "If we were to make any changes ... I would want to see judicial oversight or the first law officer (attorney-general) with the power to sign off on those warrants".

Hands up everyone in Australia who will sleep well knowing that the tsar has spoken. *crickets*

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Did the Australian Bureau of Statistics spy on Telstra customers at one remove in 2016?


“…with its near-complete coverage of the population, mobile device data is now seen as a feasible way to estimate temporary populations” [Australian Bureau of Statistics Demographer Andrew Howe, quoted in The Australian Bureau of Statistics Tracked People By Their Mobile Device Data at Medium, 23 April 2018]

Cryptoparty founder. Amnesty Australia 'Humanitarian Media Award' recipient 2014 and activist Asher Wolf recently reported that in 2016 the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) without informing or seeking permission from mobile phone users ran a secretive, publicly-funded tracking program via signals emitted by the mobile phones of an unspecified number of people, in order to find out where they travelled over the course of an unspecified number of days and how long they stayed at each location.

A presentation of the basic details of this pilot study was made by the ABS researcher leading the pilot at a Spatial Information Day in Adelaide on 11 August 2017.

second ABS researcher also made a presentation on the day.

Spatial Information Day (which has the ABS as one of its sponsors) is characterised by the organisers as an annual educational and promotional event and was first held just on 18 years ago.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics was swift to reply to Asher Wolf's Medium article, stating that it has only been supplied with hourly agregate data by the telco (Telstra) which did not identify individuals.

However, the aggregated data supplied to the ABS was at the second lowest SA2 Level and some of these statistcal areas have populations of well under 3,000 residents according to 2016 Census data. Which makes the task of matching names to some of the tracked population movements just that much easier for a demographer or determined hacker.

Given recent less than transparent disclosures by data mining corporations concerning data collection/retention practices, readers might forgive me for waiting to see if the other shoe drops in this ABS-Telsta data mining and privacy matter.

One might say that thanks to Ms. Wolf we are all being educated further about big data and the ethics of data collection.

This is the response Ms. Wolf received when she contacted privacy experts concerning the pilot study:

“I find this tracking of people using their telephone location data without their knowledge and consent extremely concerning. The fact that the telecoms company allowed this data to be handed to a third party, and then for that third party to be a government agency compounds the breach of trust for the people whose data was involved,” said Angela Daly, Vice Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Queensland University of Technology’s Faculty of Law, research associate in the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society and Digital Rights Watch board member.

“After the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal this is yet another example of why we need much tougher restrictions on what companies and the government can do with our data.”

Electronic Frontiers Australia board member Justin Warren also pointed out that while there are beneficial uses for this kind of information, “…the ABS should be treading much more carefully than it is. The ABS damaged its reputation with its bungled management of the 2016 Census, and with its failure to properly consult with civil society about its decision to retain names and addresses. Now we discover that the ABS is running secret tracking experiments on the population?”

“Even if the ABS’ motives are benign, this behaviour — making ethically dubious decisions without consulting the public it is experimenting on — continues to damage the once stellar reputation of the ABS.”

“This kind of population tracking has a dark history. During World War II, the US Census Bureau used this kind of tracking information to round up Japanese-Americans for internment. Census data was used extensively by Nazi Germany to target specific groups of people. The ABS should be acutely aware of these historical abuses, and the current tensions within society that mirror those earlier, dark days all too closely.”

“The ABS must work much harder to ensure that it is conducting itself with the broad support of the Australian populace. Sadly, it appears that the ABS increasingly considers itself above the mundane concerns of those outside its ivory tower. This arrogance must end.”

“For us to continue to trust the ABS with our most intimate details, the ABS must maintain society’s trust. Conducting experiments on citizens without seeming to care about our approval or consent undermines that trust.”

International privacy advocates also raised concerns about the study.

“Data the companies, like telcos, collect inevitably becomes very attractive to government agencies looking to track, monitor, and survey people. Like here, users are rarely informed, let alone consent to these uses. The impact on privacy rights is severe: location information (especially combined with other sensitive data) can reveal startlingly detailed information about your life (where you live, work), connections (who you talk to or visit), preferences (what you buy and when), and health (doctors and pharmacies frequented),” stated Amie Stepanovich, U.S. Policy Manager for digital rights organisation Access Now.


Monday, 23 April 2018

Away from the spotlight of congressional hearings Zuckerberg and Facebook Inc. show their true colours – implementing weaker privacy protection for 1.5 billion users


The Guardian, 19 April 2018:

Facebook has moved more than 1.5 billion users out of reach of European privacy law, despite a promise from Mark Zuckerberg to apply the “spirit” of the legislation globally.

In a tweak to its terms and conditions, Facebook is shifting the responsibility for all users outside the US, Canada and the EU from its international HQ in Ireland to its main offices in California. It means that those users will now be on a site governed by US law rather than Irish law.

The move is due to come into effect shortly before General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in Europe on 25 May. Facebook is liable under GDPR for fines of up to 4% of its global turnover – around $1.6bn – if it breaks the new data protection rules.

The shift highlights the cautious phrasing Facebook has applied to its promises around GDPR. Earlier this month, when asked whether his company would promise GDPR protections to its users worldwide, Zuckerberg demurred. “We’re still nailing down details on this, but it should directionally be, in spirit, the whole thing,” he said.
A week later, during his hearings in front of the US Congress, Zuckerberg was again asked if he would promise that GDPR’s protections would apply to all Facebook users. His answer was affirmative – but only referred to GDPR “controls”, rather than “protections”. Worldwide, Facebook has rolled out a suite of tools to let users exercise their rights under GDPR, such as downloading and deleting data, and the company’s new consent-gathering controls are similarly universal.

Facebook told Reuters “we apply the same privacy protections everywhere, regardless of whether your agreement is with Facebook Inc or Facebook Ireland”. It said the change was only carried out “because EU law requires specific language” in mandated privacy notices, which US law does not.

In a statement to the Guardian, it added: “We have been clear that we are offering everyone who uses Facebook the same privacy protections, controls and settings, no matter where they live. These updates do not change that.”

Privacy researcher Lukasz Olejnik disagreed, noting that the change carried large ramifications for the affected users. “Moving around one and a half billion users into other jurisdictions is not a simple copy-and-paste exercise,” he said.

“This is a major and unprecedented change in the data privacy landscape. The change will amount to the reduction of privacy guarantees and the rights of users, with a number of ramifications, notably for consent requirements. Users will clearly lose some existing rights, as US standards are lower than those in Europe.

“Data protection authorities from the countries of the affected users, such as New Zealand and Australia, may want to reassess this situation and analyse the situation. 

Even if their data privacy regulators are less rapid than those in Europe, this event is giving them a chance to act. Although it is unclear how active they will choose to be, the global privacy regulation landscape is changing, with countries in the world refining their approach. Europe is clearly on the forefront of this competition, but we should expect other countries to eventually catch up.” [my yellow highlighting]

NOTE:

The Australian Dept. of Human Services still continues to invite those who use its welfare services to visit its five Facebook pages on which it will:


* post about payments and services 

* answer questions 
* give useful tips 
* share news, and 
* give updates on relevant issue

All associated data (including questions and answers) will of course be captured by Facebook, then collated, transferred, stored overseas, monetised and possibly 'weaponised' during the next election campaign cycle which occurs in the area visitors to these pages live.


Monday, 16 April 2018

In Febuary-March 2018 there were 63 Notifiable Data Breaches in Australia involving the personal information of up to 341,849 individuals


In the 2016–17 financial year, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) reported that it received 114 data breach notifications on a voluntary basis.

On 22 February the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme came into force.

Between 22 February and 31 March 2018 there were 63 mandatory notifiable data breaches reported involving the personal information of up to est. 341,849 individuals, with 55 of these breaches reported in March alone.

Of these breaches:
24 were the result of criminal or malicious attack;
32 were the result of human error;
2 were system fault; and
1 was classified as “Other”.

The type of personal information involved in the data breaches:
Three of these data breaches involved the personal information of between 10,000 and 999,999 people in each instance.

At least 15 of the 63 data breached involved personal information held by “health service providers”. Health service providers are considered to be any organisation that provides a health service and holds health information.

Every individual whose personal information was breached was supposed to be notified by the entity holding their information, however the OAIC Quarterly Statistics Report: January 2018 - March 2018 did not specifically state that this had occurred.