Insights Categories: Privacy

Make privacy a priority, today and every day

Currently, 85% of all Australians have a clear understanding of why they should protect personal information, yet 49% don’t know how to do it. Privacy Awareness Week (PAW 2021) runs from 3-9 May 2021. The theme for PAW2021 is ‘Make privacy a priority’. PAW 2021 is about sharing information and practical tips that empower organisations […]

Do your staff members understand their obligations regarding the handling and storage of personal information?

A recent decision of the Australian Information and Privacy Commissioner, Commissioner Falk, highlights the importance of staff training on the collection and storage of personal information and the need to manage customers’ personal information in an open and transparent way. In 2017, Flight Centre held a ‘design jam’ to create technological solutions for travel agents. […]

A case scenario on patient privacy – can I discuss a deceased patient’s care with their family members?

Meridian Lawyers often receives calls from doctors and other health practitioners requesting one-off advice relating to their day-to-day practice. Recently, we have received a number of requests for advice about patient privacy and more specifically about the circumstances in which a health practitioner might be permitted to discuss a deceased patient with their family. The […]

UK High Court applies established duty of care principles to legalise professional guidance which permits disclosure of confidential information to a proximate third party without consent

ABC v NHS — Background The UK High Court[1] applied established duty of care principles to legalise professional guidance which permits disclosure of confidential information to a proximate third party without consent, in circumstances where the medical professional has properly undertaken the requisite balancing exercise of risks and interests affecting the patient, third party and […]

Accidentally sending an email to the wrong email address can cost you

Key lessons from ‘SD’ and ‘SE’ and Northside Clinic (Vic) Pty Ltd [2020] AlCmr 21 We recently published an article about the importance of protecting your patients’ private information, and what to do if there is an inadvertent disclosure of sensitive patient data. If you missed it, that article can be read here. In June […]

Bushfire Emergency Declaration

The Privacy (Australian Bushfires Disaster) Emergency Declaration (No 1) 2020 came into force on 20 January 2020 in response to bushfires in Australia resulting in death, injury and property damage occurring from August 2019 into 2020. The Emergency Declaration will expire on 20 January 2021. The Emergency Declaration was made under Part VIA of Privacy […]

Health practitioner seeks help from the Federal Court to uncover identity of negative Google reviewer

Meridian Lawyers regularly assists health practitioners to respond to queries or complaints by AHPRA about their online advertising. In the process of providing this assistance, we are often asked by practitioners whether anything can be done about unfair testimonials that may be made about them on independent online platforms like Google. In an age where […]

Audio and Video Records – are they legal?

It may seem an easier way in this technologically savvy world we inhabit, to simply record information or other data about patients, either by audio or visual means. This is attractive as records are correct and comprehensive and may be utilised in the defence of any complaint. However, there are legalities surrounding such records and […]

Handling sensitive health information about patients and customers – do you understand your obligations?

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (the OAIC) has released a Guide to Health Privacy to assist health care providers to understand their obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (the Privacy Act) regarding the handling of sensitive health information about their patients and customers. Health care providers range from doctors, hospitals, allied health […]

Be Data Smart

Pharmacy data is a valuable resource and pharmacy owners are increasingly being asked to permit third parties to access their pharmacy computer systems for a range of purposes. Pharmacy owners need to be extremely cautious about permitting third parties to access their pharmacy computer systems and before doing so should ensure that they question and […]

Restrictions on the use and disclosure of confidential communications between a victim of sexual assault and treating health practitioners

Legislation in Victoria now protects the medical and counselling records of victims of sexual assault from disclosure in Court hearings.[1] The legislation is directed at:- ‘remedying the mischief of sexual assault victims being deterred from reporting or giving full information to doctors or counsellors in the course of their treatment, because of uncertainty and fear […]

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