Now online only

MyGov. Public toilet service gone online. Individuals must create a myShit account linked to sewerage.
Public toilet service gone online. A “tribute” to Medicare and Tax offices that are now all closed down, to myGov that must be linked online to ATO, Medicare or Centrelink, to myTax, myPost, myHealthRecord, myAgedCare and other myWhatever online accounts and services actively pushed onto Australians yet promise no privacy, guarantee no security, and never seem to work properly.

The year 2019 has brought a record number of ATO scam calls. Scammers are getting more tools at their disposal, thanks to the persistent government efforts to push the population into filling tax returns and use other services online. Luckily, one of the much-sought “holistic” approaches to protecting one's data, money and peace of mind is available to everyone, has been around for decades, and is as follows:

According to the reader feedback, since myTax roll out, there has also been a significant increase in errors that ATO make while processing tax returns; and after the taxpayer requests the ATO to correct the errors, the amendment letters are worded as if the taxpayer made the mistakes, not the ATO. It is so far unclear, whether that is because the ATO mistakenly concluded that it no longer needs to employ sufficient numbers of diligent people, instead relying on software to replace them, or because the ATO is indeed plagued by the problems 4Corners reported in its Mongrel Bunch of Bastards episode (video); text version Malicious and Vengeful (part 1), High Cost of Taking on the Tax Office (part 2), Cash Grab (part 3).

The year 2021 added another issue: COVID Check-In apps that Australians are almost forced to use in order to get access to the most essential necessities like food, and COVID vaccination records that cannot be accessed online without a myGov account linked to Medicare.


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This pretty much nails it!

Anonymous, 27 May 2019

I hope Australians won't be forced to subscribe to this mygov shit because of covid vaccination. It is already bad enough that the government treats out personal data and health information as its own property. This has got to stop! I won't be signing up for any online crap that mandates to know my email or mobile number or wants me to download their app onto my phone.

Anonymous, 29 March 2021

Centrelink, Medicare, ATO, Child Support, myHealthRecord, and the rest of the myGov gang, this lot are worse than scammers!
At least all that scammers want is your money, but these shysters want everything: your money, and all your personal data, and your medical information, and all your private life, and to have control over your body, and to have you under their surveillance from cradle to grave...
In the old days you could get away with giving them only your name and address, but now they also demand your email address and mobile phone number, and force you to agree to their terms and conditions that make you obligated to check their online messages on a daily basis, as if they are going to pay for your Internet data usage or mobile services! And now they also want a photo ID for COVID vaccines. Are they serious??

Pat, Australia, 4 April 2021

Increasingly these days we have only two choices: forced or forbidden. Anything with prefixes "e", "i" or "my" intensifies the despair.

Anonymous, 2 June 2021

This is no longer a joke. Soon we won't be able to buy food without handing over our contact details. Thanks to covid, the government found a way to deal with those who want to protect their privacy: starve them to death. In Queensland, from 9 July every supermarket, grocery shop and retail food outlet will have to demand that you use the Check In Qld app or give them your name, address and contact details.
The app Privacy Policy, if you can call it that, says it will send the authorities the location, time and date of your visits; your full name; your phone number; your email address; and information about the technology you used to check in. Nowhere it explains what that "information about the technology you used to check in" includes and what sort of data it can steal from your device. It could easily grab your device ID and other identifying information. This applies to Queensland Check In Qld app, Western Australian SafeWA app, Tasmanian Check in Tas app, and ACT Check In CBR app.
Sadly, it is highly unlikely that this coercion and mass surveillance will be completely removed when the pandemic is over. Coronavirus became a convenient pretext for stripping the population of their privacy, civil rights and freedoms.

Anonymous, Australia, 28 June 2021

To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. To a government with a surveillance app, everything looks like an excuse for forcing everyone into using it.

Anonymous, 29 June 2021

Queensland check in app is the worst of them. For instance, NSW app asks for your email OR phone number, and keeps data for 28 days. Qld app demands phone AND email, and keeps data for 56 days. And of course no other state or territory decided to bar people from grocery shopping unless they say goodbye to their privacy. And the pandemic is absolutely no justification for this intrusion in Qld, because Qld infection rates are much lower than NSW. It is pure abuse and violation.

Darren, 30 June 2021

We all have to pay with our privacy for the incompetence of our government while they keep stuffing up every step of the pandemic management. The only reason Australia didn't become a covid cesspool is due to its geographic isolation, not because politicians and bureaucrats did anything better than other countries. Instead of securing a safe and effective vaccine and offering it efficiently and with respect for individual privacy, Australian federal and state governments focus on finding new ways and excuses for data-grabbing. Extorting personal information out of the population is the only thing they are quick and good at.

Greg, 1 July 2021

Maybe it's time someone started depicting the current Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in a Nazi-style military uniform, with a gun, and crossed bananas swastika on the sleeves? Like Sean Leahy used to draw Joh Bjelke-Petersen.

Anonymous, 1 July 2021

And if you test positive for covid in Queensland, they tend to force you to go to hospital instead of letting people with mild or no symptoms to self isolate at home like all other states do. Don't Queensland covid zealots see that this imprisonment approach only deters people from testing and does more harm than good?

Anonymous, 1 July 2021

As far as I know Qld takeaways and drive though will stay exempt from this contact information collection. So our eating may become less healthy, but we shan't starve to death.

J.E., 2 July 2021

Tyranny is the easiest way paper pushers get to tell everyone else how to live their lives. And covid-19 provided an excellent opportunity.

Anonymous, 4 July 2021

Wait until they mandate that we show a proof of covid vaccination wherever we go. And guess what? They will make it so that it can't be accessed without signing up for mygov.
This whole pandemic has been a perfect chance for the governments to covertly trial how much privacy intrusion, liberty deprivation and personal data abuse the public is willing to tolerate.

Anonymous, 4 July 2021

Yes vaccination passports are a real possibility. Of course they will be digital and will require an app connected to the Australian immunisation register, which is tied to Medicare account, which has to be linked to myGov.
At this stage state and federal governments are herding the public into accepting that everyone 'must' disclose personal information wherever they go. Once people accept that, it will be an easy push to make everyone show their medical/vaccination records too. Beware however that if we let the whole notion of medical privacy become extinct in this pandemic, we will never get it back.

Nathan, 6 July 2021

Check-in GestAPPo. It is no longer a joke or Godwin's law, it's the sad reality.

Anonymous, 9 July 2021

My own experience confirms that it is impossible for an ordinary adult to get a covid vaccine in Australia through state health authorities without booking online and giving them email address and phone number. Which I am not willing to do, because devil only knows where it is going to end up. At the very least all the data is likely to be deposited into the immunisation register, from which it is impossible to delete anything or opt out.

Anonymous, 11 July 2021

Be very careful if you are booking covid-19 vaccine online. Many clinics and medical centres dupe you into making the booking via HotDoc, HealthEngine, 1stGroup sites, etc. So you will be creating an account with a commercial entity and giving your personal and medical information to them, and then your data will be used for advertisement, marketing and financial gain of those businesses and their "partners". Just read Health Engine Privacy Policy. It is outrageous that an official government web site even links to such companies, let alone tells people to actually use those systems!

Greg, 13 July 2021

Great to see that someone put this in such a fine way. For a while I though I was the only one using paper tax returns mainly to avoid giving out my email and phone number. But over time I discovered that many others do the same. And rightly so! Scam calls, emails and text messages pretending to be from the taxation office are too common to be careless.
I'd use myGov and myTax if they didn't demand email address and mobile phone number as mandatory... but they do, so I am still with paper. On paper I can simply leave those fields blank. And then whenever I receive a call or a message from someone claiming to be ATO, I know immediately those are scammers, because I have never given ATO that info. Very simple and effective protection!
Another reason why I leave phone and email fields blank on my tax return is because it says "Your contact details may be used by the conduct research and marketing". I DO NOT agree with that at all, but nobody is asking. What's the point of that text anyway if there is no way to say NO or to opt out? What's the alternative? Not to lodge a tax return at all? Really? Can I? By behaving like this the government is basically saying that if some criminal first tells you that he is going to kill/rape/rob you, that makes it Ok.

Anonymous, 23 July 2021

Queensland tyrants updated their restrictions direction. The collection of personal information became mandatory for takeaway. So now the only way to get food without being under surveillance is via drive though. Live on junk\fast food or surrender! Or use home delivery, which means giving personal information to another bunch. And surely this will be barred in a few weeks too. They will continue tearing people's privacy and dignity apart until they have us all microchipped or wearing some tracking device like police ankle bracelets.
Another interesting change is "a person is not required to provide contact information if the person is exercising law enforcement, intelligence, or national security functions on behalf of a government agency". Marvellous! Queensland government, police and secret squirrels exempted themselves, but all normal people have to comply. The government well and truly forgot who pays their salaries and who they are supposed to be working for.

J.E., 23 July 2021