ABS response to Privacy Impact Assessment (Media Release)

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18 December 2015
Embargo: 11:30am (Canberra Time)
ABS response to Privacy Impact Assessment

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today announced it will retain the names and addresses collected in the 2016 Census of Population and Housing to provide a richer and dynamic statistical picture of Australia through the combination of Census data with other survey and administrative data.

The ABS’s existing practices and obligations will ensure that no information will be released in a way that would enable users of Census data to identify any individual or household.

The decision follows a Privacy Impact Assessment which found that retaining names and addresses for the purpose of richer and more dynamic statistics and more efficient statistical operations has very low risks to privacy, confidentiality and security.

The Assessment concluded that the ABS is able to safely manage this data through extremely robust, best-practice data management and information security practices. These practices support the ABS’s ongoing commitment to maintaining community trust and protecting the confidentiality of individuals and businesses, as required by legislation.

The Privacy Impact Assessment process included consultation with the Australian Privacy Commissioner, as well as State and Territory Privacy Commissioners.

This decision is consistent with the prescribed functions of the ABS, set out in legislation, and complies with other necessary legislative and privacy requirements.

The ABS thanks all stakeholders and citizens who provided valuable feedback to guide this decision.

Further information is contained in the Retention of names and addresses collected in the 2016 Census of Population and Housing and Privacy Impact Assessment 2016 Census documents.

The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to us.