Australian Bureau of Statistics
Kinds of personal information that we collect and hold
In performing our functions, we may collect and hold the following kinds of personal information about you:
In performing our functions, we may also on occasion collect and hold the following kinds of sensitive information about you:
How we collect and hold personal information
We may collect personal information about you directly from you as well as indirectly from third parties.
In performing our functions, we may collect your personal information using a variety of methods including:
We collect and store your personal information securely. Electronic and paper records containing your personal information are protected in accordance with the Australian Government Protective Security Policy Framework. We manage your personal information in accordance with the Australian Government records management regime. When no longer required, your personal information is destroyed or deleted according to the Administrative Functions Disposal Authority and our records authorities (2001/00000540 and 2007/00105946).
USE OR DISCLOSURE
We only use or disclose your personal information for the purposes for which it was given to us, i.e. purposes which are related to our functions as described under the ABS Act and the Census and Statistics Act.
We do not usually disclose your personal information and are unlikely to disclose your personal information to overseas recipients. The Census and Statistics Act protects the confidentiality of your personal information. Instances where the ABS may disclose your personal information include where:
Purposes for which we collect, hold, use and disclose personal information
We collect, hold, use and disclose personal information for statistical and non-statistical purposes.
For statistical purposes, your personal information may be handled in relation to statistical collection activities or statistical coordination and dissemination activities.
Statistical collections include:
Statistical coordination and dissemination activities include contact with stakeholders, event participants, consultancy clients and those individuals who collaborate with us on statistical development activities.
For non-statistical purposes, your personal information may be handled in relation to you contacting the ABS (public contact) and your employment by or contract to the ABS (ABS staff).
As part of its statistical collections, the ABS collects data from individuals, households and businesses, as well as from third party administrative sources. These collections support activities related to the compilation, production and analysis of statistics on a wide range of social, population, environmental and economic matters.
The ABS collects, compiles, analyses and disseminates statistics on a wide range of social, environmental and economic matters. The personal information collected as part of these activities varies with the collection topic and the collection unit. Most individual and household collections include basic demographics; some collect personal characteristics and personal opinions. Most business collections include point of contact details; some include details that relate to employees, sole traders and partnerships. Various administrative collections usually include basic demographics and may include personal characteristics relating to individuals and their family.
All survey, Census and research data, including data from administrative sources, is usually collected by the ABS under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act, unless explicit approval is otherwise provided by the Australian Statistician. In a small number of collections, data is collected under the authority of the ABS Act. This is usually done on a contractual basis to allow the clients to access unit record survey data for the purpose of producing statistics. Any collection of data under the ABS Act is on an overtly voluntary basis.
Personal information collected under the Census and Statistics Act remains confidential and is used for statistical purposes only. For further information about the privacy of survey data, please see Survey Participant Information.
Statistical coordination and dissemination
We collect personal information including name, address and contact details about our stakeholders, event participants, consultancy clients and collaborators in statistical development activities. We collect this information through direct contact with these individuals.
We use this personal information to manage:
We collect personal information including your name, address and contact details as part of our usual communication and correspondence processes, including when you write to or email us, when you call us, or when you hand us your business card.
We use personal information associated with public contact to respond to complaints, Freedom of Information requests and other inquires.
We collect and hold personal information about our staff; regarding personnel and payroll, recruitment and other matters (such as those relating to work health and safety).
We collect this personal information through our corporate systems and only use or disclose it to facilitate the effective business operations of the ABS.
OUR WEBSITES - ABS (www.abs.gov.au), ASAC (www.asac.gov.au) and NSS (www.nss.gov.au)
We will keep the information you submit via our websites secure.
We monitor the use of our websites in order to improve them and the services we provide to you.
We use first party cookies to collect the following information:
This information is used by the ABS only for the purpose of improving our online offerings. We do not collect identifiable personal information about you if you only browse our websites.
A first party (or persistent) cookie is very small text file placed on your hard drive by our web server. It is essentially your identification card, and cannot be executed as code or deliver viruses. It is uniquely yours and can only be read by the server that gave it to you.
Using cookies allows the ABS to be more efficient. We can learn what information is important to our visitors, and what isn't. We can discard web pages you don't use, and focus our efforts on information you need.
Some ABS on-line products and services also require your web browser to accept persistent cookies. If you do not or cannot store cookies, it may be possible to acquire versions of these products and services on CD ROM or other media not connected to the Internet. Please contact us for further information.
In order to help you further protect your privacy, we have also implemented the files required to support the Platform for Privacy Preferences Project (P3P) recommendations. P3P enables the ABS to express our privacy practices in a standard format that can be retrieved automatically and interpreted easily by P3P compatible browsers. For more information on P3P, please read the Frequently Asked Questions about P3P.
We use website analytics to help improve the efficiency and usability of our websites. In addition to web server logs, our websites use Google Analytics, a web analytics and reporting service provided by Google Inc. ("Google").
The ABS use of Google Analytics is limited to the information collected about your use of our websites. Google Analytics does not collect or report on information from you or about you when you respond to surveys conducted under the Census and Statistics Act.
Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of our websites, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage. Google may transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google's behalf.
These websites are accredited and maintained to Australian Government Internet security standards to ensure the confidentiality and/or integrity of information posted on the site. These standards meet or exceed Australian information security management standards (AS/NZS 4444).
ALTERNATIVES TO OUR WEBSITES
If you prefer not to submit information via these websites, please contact us for advice on how to proceed. Please make a note of where you are on the website and provide this information to the consultant who accepts your call.
HOW TO ACCESS PERSONAL INFORMATION WE HOLD ABOUT YOU AND SEEK ITS CORRECTION
You have the right to request access to the personal information that the ABS holds about you and to request its correction. The ABS does not retain your name and address after statistical processing has been completed and access to or correction of your personal information held by us for statistical collection purposes may be limited by our data retention practices. You may request access to or correction of the personal information that we hold about you by contacting us using the details provided below.
HOW TO COMPLAIN ABOUT US BREACHING YOUR PRIVACY
We are committed to protecting your privacy. We treat any accidental or unauthorised disclosure of your personal information seriously and deal with it promptly.
If you think we may have breached your privacy rights or our privacy responsibilities, you may contact us using the details provided below.
We will acknowledge the receipt of your complaint within five business days of receiving it. In most cases, we will complete our investigation into your complaint and respond to you within 30 days. If the matter is more complex and our investigation may take longer, we will let you know when we expect to be able to provide our response.
A complaint should first be made to us (you may contact use using the details provided below) and we should be given 30 days to respond. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of or our response to your complaint, you may refer your complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
HOW TO CONTACT US
Please contact us if you have any queries about the personal information that the ABS holds about you or the way that we handle that personal information.
Our Privacy Officer will deal with your inquiries or complaints about our compliance with the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs).
The Privacy Officer can be contacted:
The Privacy Officer will respond to your inquiry or complaint promptly, if you provide your contact details.
AVAILABILITY OF THIS POLICY
If you wish to access this policy in an alternative format (e.g. hard copy), please contact us using the details provided above.
Back to top
This page first published 29 February 2008, last updated 14 March 2014