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About CURF Microdata

Image: CURF Microdata

What is a CURF?
A Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) is a file of responses to ABS surveys or censuses that have had specific identifying information about persons and organisations confidentialised. CURFs contain the most detailed information available from the ABS.

Why is CURF Microdata confidentialised?
The Census and Statistics Act includes a legislative guarantee to respondents that their confidentiality will be protected. This is fundamental to the trust the Australian public has in the ABS, and that trust is in turn fundamental to the excellent quality of ABS information. Without that trust, survey respondents may be less forthcoming or truthful in answering our questionnaires.

For more information on confidentiality, see the Confidentiality Information Series from the National Statistical Service web page.

How are microdata confidentialised?
The most basic of the techniques employed by the ABS involves removing all identifying information, such as names and addresses. Additionally, the data items that are most likely to enable identification of unit records are only released in broad categories. For example, while survey questionnaires may capture your home or business address, microdata may only be released at the State or Territory level.

For more information, see 'Avoiding inadvertent Disclosure' and 'Microdata' on our web page How the ABS keeps your information confidential.

How much does a CURF cost?
CURF Microdata access is priced in accordance with ABS Pricing Policy and Commonwealth Cost Recovery Guidelines. Access to CURFs is charged per organisation not per person. Additional users of CURFs within an organisation do not incur additional charges. For information on prices and how to pay, see Microdata prices.

How do I access the CURF?
CURFs are available on CD-ROM for Basic CURFs or via the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) for Expanded CURFs. Not all CURFs are available in both formats. For a full list of available datasets, see Expected and available Microdata.

A snapshot of the application process can be found on the How to Apply for CURF Microdata page. CURF applications are completed online using the ABS MiCRO system. Clients will be required to agree to terms and conditions of use before submitting applications.

click here to apply to ABS for microdata access

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Commonwealth of Australia 2014

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