Warning over myGov tracking
People fleeing domestic violence have been warned that former partners could trace them via their children's myGov accounts.
Staff at the Queensland Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women have warned that abusive partners can access the updated address details of their child through the Federal Government's myGov portal.
“With this platform there is no way to protect addresses at this stage,” an email from the department said.
“It is encouraged for parents fleeing violence to deactivate their account to reduce the ability to track their new address.”
Professor Annabel Taylor from the Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research said the issue of tracking though myGov has come up several times during discussions among those in the sector.
“Perpetrators will seek to find and locate their partner or ex-partner because the nature of domestic violence is this intense desire to control or exert power over the other partner,” Professor Taylor told reporters.
“Perpetrators try all sorts of means in order to try and locate [abused partners] so any system, including myGov, which may allow this to happen needs to be a concern to authorities in terms of risk and safety.
“Any governmental data collection system that allows access to various individuals needs to have protections in place for victims of domestic violence.”
Department of Human Services general manager Hank Jongen said the department sees helping people affected by family and domestic violence as a major priority.
“We are aware of the difficult circumstances many of our customers face and we are committed to ensuring people receive the support they need, when and where they need it,” he said.
“If a parent suspects their child has shared their myGov sign-in details with anybody, they should ask them to change their password and myGov PIN immediately.”