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Health Minister Nicola Roxon has introduced to Parliament legislation for Australia's personally controlled e-health records system that would protect patient data under the Privacy Act and includes strong penalties for breaches. However, The Australian reports that differing state and territorial health and privacy laws would still apply, prompting Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim to ask for greater auditing and investigatory powers. The bill also gives the federal government certain exemptions--drawing criticism from some--but the bill states, "If the Crown in any of its capacities does not comply with its obligations under this bill, other remedies are potentially available," including being "investigated by the information commissioner under the Privacy Act." (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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