2901.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Census Dictionary, 2016  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/08/2016   
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2016 Census Dictionary >> Glossary >> Confidentiality


Under the Census and Statistics Act, 1905 it is an offence to release any information collected under the Act that is likely to enable identification of any particular individual or organisation. The ABS never has and never will release identifiable Census data. All personal information collected in the Census is collected and stored securely.

For the Census, strict measures are taken in collection, processing and output of data to protect confidential information. The Census and Statistics ACT,1905 legally binds all ABS staff (including temporary employees wording during the Census) to protect your information. The ABS cannot and will not share or provide identifiable personal information to any government department or organisation.

Following a consultation process and Privacy Impact Assessment, the ABS made the decision to retain the names and addresses collected on 2016 Census forms for up to 4 years. After data collection and processing, the ABS will remove names and addresses from other personal and household information. Names and addresses will be stored securely and separate from one another, and name will be anonymised. No one working with Census data will be able to view name or address at the same time as other Census responses.

The Census time capsule is an option where people can choose to have the information on their Census forms kept and securely held by the National Archives of Australia for 99 years. After 99 years it will be publicly available. During the 99 years, this information cannot be accessed, altered or retrieved.

Customised tables for some geographic areas can be produced with cells containing very small counts. In cases where this occurs small random adjustments are made to the data to avoid any risk of releasing identifiable information. These adjustments allow for a greater amount of detailed data to be released, and, as they are small, do not affect the utility of the data.

See also Census Time Capsule, Introduced random error, Name and address retention.

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