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Changes to the Australian Federal privacy laws on Wednesday mean than any clinician that has a patient’s photo saved on their phone could face fines of up to $340,000 regardless of whether damages have been proven.

And where it can be shown that a breach of patients’ privacy has occurred, fines of up to $1.7 million could well ensue.

With an estimated 85% of doctors currently using their smart devices to take legitimate medical photos on the job, thousands of doctors may inadvertently be in breach of the law.

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