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OAIC releases statement on MediSecure data breach

The Australian privacy commissioner’s current focus is on “ensuring that affected individuals are appropriately informed”.

user icon David Hollingworth
Tue, 21 May 2024
OAIC releases statement on MediSecure data breach
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The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has released a statement today, 21 May, formally noting that it has been notified of a data breach involving e-prescription service MediSecure.

“The National Cyber Security Coordinator is working with agencies across the Australian government, states and territories to coordinate a whole-of-government response to this incident,” the OIAC said in its statement.

“The OAIC is actively engaging and collaborating with other agencies in this process, with a particular focus on the privacy of individuals and their personal information.

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“As information about a data breach is gathered and assessed, the initial focus for the OAIC is ensuring that affected individuals are appropriately informed, so they may take steps to protect themselves from any further risk to their personal information.”

So far, no further details have been shared regarding the number of people impacted by the breach or the nature of the data that has been compromised.

Similarly, no threat actor has yet come forward to claim responsibility for the hack.

The Australian privacy commissioner, Carly Kind, said that data breach “reinforces the reality of today’s world: there are increasing cyber threats and continual challenges to digital defences”.

“Protecting individuals’ personal information should be a top priority for all organisations, which should continually review and improve their practices and take control where they can. Only collect information that is necessary for you to carry out your business. Know what information you hold. And if that information is not necessary to your business, delete it,” Kind said.

“The coverage of Australia’s privacy legislation lags behind the advancing skills of malicious cyber actors. Reform of the Privacy Act is urgent to ensure all Australian organisations build the highest levels of security into their operations and the community’s personal information is protected to the maximum extent possible.”

The Australian Medical Association Queensland’s vice-president, Dr Nick Yim, also released a statement late last week to lay to rest fears that current prescriptions may be affected.

“The MediSecure data breach does not affect current prescriptions, and patients should feel confident in getting scripts filled,” Yim said after a briefing from the National Office of Cyber Security on Friday, 17 May.

“With our federal colleagues, AMA Queensland welcomes the formation of a national stakeholder group to support the government’s response.”

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth has been writing about technology for over 20 years, and has worked for a range of print and online titles in his career. He is enjoying getting to grips with cyber security, especially when it lets him talk about Lego.

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