Researchers at the University of Melbourne found they could retrace de-identified medical data back to 2.9 million Australians, ZDNet reports. The team of researchers said the data could be re-identified for almost one-tenth of Australians, without decryption, and warned that other government data could be just as vulnerable. Chris Culnane said the research team could identify people through “linking the unencrypted parts of the record with known information about the individual such as medical procedures and year of birth." Culane added, "This shows the surprising ease with which de-identification can fail, highlighting the risky balance between data sharing and privacy." The government's response has been criticized for failing to acknowledge the seriousness of the risk.
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