I was out at the range yesterday and was speaking with Andy Mallen (SSAA Silverdale Range Manager) about recent events and he informed me that the local police in Penrith were now using the "My health records" to check on licensed shooters and their "Fitness" to hold a firearms licence. Apparently the local area command are cancelling between 6 and 8 licences per month as a result of these checks.
I can only assume this is being done state wide and would result in a lot of licences shooters having to explain why they are still fit and proper to own a licence. A quick google showed articles that this is not just restricted to people with mental health issues, see below.
My encouraged my entire family to opt-out of the My Health Record last year, but my reasons had nothing to do with the above and but rather my distrust of the government keeping a large database on the population. My 35 years as an IT professional has made me very cautious of these large databases that are kept on us all. How long until this database gets hacked and your medical records are there for everyone to see?
I looked up the website for MyHealth.gov.au
According to the website privacy laws, law enforcement and government agencies are able to access information if grated an order from a judicial officer, and no request has been received and no information released.
Also it states in a section marked Permanent Deletion of a cancelled My Health record a person can permanently delete a MyHealth record at any time in their life. No copy will be kept and deleted information won't be recoverable.
Hopefully these are truthful statements.
I believe you can delete your record at any time, but like anything to do with computers is it ever really deleted?
Andy knows the officer at Penrith (he knows everyone) and said She does not like what she was doing but was just doing her job. Last year the local police were camped up the road from the Silverdale range and stopping and checking vehicle leaving the range that shooters had their equipment stored correctly, they had cancelled 27 licences for unsafe storage.
The majority of the 27 were for not storing ammo in a separate locked box\compartment in their car. Of course the news of these checks went around the range like wildfire so not heard any more reports this year.
While my son was on his P plates he had been stopped more then once, vehicle searched and also questioned about his shooting. ie I see you are a shooter?, what do you shoot, where do you shoot and with what? He had all the right answers to the shooting questions so had no problem and was never booked for any driving offence.
Here is another example of tricks, I had a firearms inspection scheduled, two officers attended my residence. While I opened the safe for one officer the other officer asked my son (15yo with jr permit) the combination to the safe... Two days later one of the officers returned to the house while I was out and spoke to my wife, he said he just needed to check something in the safe. Wife informed the officer that she was not licensed and had no access to the safe and would have to arrange a time with me again, never heard back from them.
The My Health records are an orgasm and wet dream for the health insurers.
As an example, if you have taken out private health care or sustained a workplace injury the insurers will have complete access to your records. Whilst this doesn’t seem like much let me it in to greater context. If at birth your mother had complications (perhaps the obstetrician had to use the forceps) and you sustained a few minor injuries (perhaps as baby your eyes were watering but settled as you grew) or perhaps you sustained a neck injury at work later in life - the accessing of your health records will allow your employer and the insurer the means to avoid liability on your claim. Former PM Malcolm Turnbull had even reflected upon this fact.
But what’s more concerning is what Dave has reflected upon in his initial post. The authorities are now using these records to cross reference a persons illness, disease and mental health to determine whether a person is a “potential” risk to the community or to themselves. We only need further reflect upon the amended PTA forms and the numerous questions that one must answer to satisfy a genuine reason for the permit.