ABS Privacy Policy Summary

Australian Bureau of Statistics

The ABS is subject to the Privacy Act 1988 (the Privacy Act) and to the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) contained in the Privacy Act. In addition to the Privacy Act the ABS is also bound by the secrecy requirements of the Census and Statistics Act 1905 (Census & Statistics Act) which prohibits the release of information collected for a statistical purpose in a manner that is likely to enable the identification of any person or business.

ABS privacy policies

More information can be found in the ABS privacy policies:

Why the ABS collects and uses personal information

The ABS only collects personal information in order to carry out its functions as the national statistical authority for all Australian governments and the Australian community.

The ABS primarily collects and uses information for statistical and research purposes. Information collected for these purposes will never be used for compliance or regulatory activities.

Protecting your privacy

The ABS handles personal information with utmost care and in a manner that adheres to or exceeds the requirements of the Privacy Act and the APPs and the Census & Statistics Act.

The ABS has a range of measures in place to ensure that the information provided is safeguarded. These measures include strong encryption of data, restricted access on a need to know basis, physical security of premises and data lock-ups, monitoring access and use, and regular audits.

ABS staff are personally bound to protect identifiable data. It is an offence for any ABS staff, past or present, to divulge, directly or indirectly, any information collected under the Census & Statistics Act. Breaching this requirement can result in heavy penalties, including fines and imprisonment.

Privacy Impact Assessments

The ABS may conduct or commission a Privacy Impact Assessment to assess the potential impact of an ABS project on the privacy of individuals, and document and assess the processes in place to manage, minimise, or eliminate that impact. See ABS Privacy Impact Assessments for a listing of Privacy Impact Assessment reports, and the ABS response to any recommendations contained within those reports, that have been published on the ABS website.

Accessing and correcting your personal information

In most cases, the ABS must give you access to the personal information which has been collected from you and take reasonable steps to correct it if the ABS considers it to be incorrect

Exemptions apply for personal information which has been collected for statistical purposes. Personal information provided to the ABS through a survey can only be accessed in special circumstances.

Please see the Main ABS Privacy Policy for more details.

How to make a complaint

If you believe that the ABS or one of its contracted service providers has not dealt with your personal information in accordance with the APPs or the Privacy Act, you can make a written complaint to the ABS, clearly outlining the nature of your complaint and the outcome you are seeking.

If you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint, you may refer your complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

Please see the Main ABS Privacy Policy for more details.

How to contact us

You can contact us:

Via email to the following address: privacy@abs.gov.au

Via post:

Privacy Contact Officer
Policy and Legislation Section
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Locked Bag 10
Belconnen ACT 2617

Via phone: (02) 6252 7203