MADIP - FAQs
What are the benefits of MADIP
The Multi-Agency Data Integration Project (MADIP) shows how combining existing public data can be used to:
A series of MADIP Case Studies have been developed to highlight the kind of insights that MADIP data can provide. The MADIP Research Projects page provides information about the approved research projects that use MADIP data.
What is the governance for the project
There are currently three key levels of governance for MADIP:
How is the project developing
From June 2015–2018, the MADIP partners evaluated the technical feasibility of linking multiple datasets longitudinally, as well as the usefulness of the integrated data as a resource for policy analysis, research, and statistical purposes.
MADIP became fully operational on 1 July 2018 as a core asset of the Data Integration Partnership of Australia (DIPA), and will continue to expand to include new collections of data (from a range of sectors and sources, including surveys) as well as longitudinal information to enable insights into trends over time.
Is MADIP related to My Health Record
No. My Health Record is a separate project undertaken by the Australian Digital Health Agency. Data from My Health Record is not linked with MADIP data.
How to access information and data
How can I apply for access to MADIP data
MADIP standard detailed microdata is available for approved projects to approved government and non-government users.
Custom MADIP detailed microdata is available for approved projects to three types of approved users:
Access to MADIP detailed microdata is provided to approved users through the ABS DataLab. Users are legally obliged to use data responsibly for approved purposes, comply with the conditions of access, and maintain the confidentiality of data. All users and projects must be approved for access under the Five Safes Framework.
For information about how to access MADIP detailed microdata see the Access to BLADE and MADIP data and MADIP Research Projects.
Can I access or correct my personal information
Under the Privacy Act 1988 agencies that collect your personal information may permit you to access or correct it, where it is reasonable and practicable for them to do so. However, data collected under the Census and Statistics Act 1905 is subject to legal exemptions. It is also important to note that personal information, such as name and address, is removed when combined with other datasets as part of the data integration process in line with the Separation Principle. This makes it unlikely that the ABS would be able to locate your information in MADIP to update or correct it.
Any enquiries about accessing or correcting personal information in MADIP should be directed to the ABS Privacy Officer at email@example.com or by phone on 02 6252 7203. Mail can be directed to:
Policy and Legislation Section
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Locked Bag 10
Belconnen ACT 2617
Any enquiries about accessing or correcting personal information outside of MADIP should be directed to the privacy officer of the relevant agency.
Who can I contact for more information about the project
For more information about MADIP, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Privacy and security
How is my privacy protected
The privacy and security of personal information in MADIP are maintained through strong legislative protections and best practice data management. Key measures include:
The privacy impacts of the project were identified and addressed as part of the MADIP independent Privacy Impact Assessment consultation processes.
Privacy protections are reviewed on an ongoing basis and will evolve as new technology becomes available and new data is added.
How is my data kept secure
The ABS is committed to data security. Visit the Privacy, Secrecy, and Information Security page to learn more about the safeguards the ABS has in place to your keep your information secure.
Can I opt out of MADIP
No, it is not possible to opt out of MADIP. Names and addresses are removed during the data integration process, and without this information the ABS is unable to identify an individual’s personal information to remove their records.
It may be possible to opt out of collections which feed into MADIP, however, some collections feeding into MADIP are compulsory (such as the Census) while others are needed to deliver particular services or programs to you (such as welfare payments) or government functions (such as taxation).
Why was I not asked to consent to my personal information being used in MADIP
Under the Privacy Act 1988, personal information may be used for the purpose(s) it was collected for and related purposes where the person consents or as authorised by law. MADIP uses data collected for research and statistical purposes, and is authorised by legislation (for more information on the legal basis of MADIP, see the MADIP data and legislation page).
How do I make a privacy complaint
If you think the ABS may have breached your privacy rights or its privacy responsibilities in relation to MADIP, a complaint should first be made to the ABS Privacy Officer using the information provided above.
If you are not satisfied with how the ABS Privacy Officer handles your complaint, or the outcome reached, you may refer your complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
How is MADIP data linked
Data linkage is conducted by a dedicated team within a secure ABS environment.
Underpinning MADIP is a ‘spine’, created through a three-way linkage between the Medicare Enrolments Database (MEDB), Social Security and Related Information (SSRI), and Personal Income Tax (PIT). Together, these datasets have very high coverage of the Australian population. The high coverage of the spine enables high quality linkage of other datasets to the spine.
Linkage is performed using identifying information from the datasets. For most MADIP linkages this is anonymised name, date of birth, geocoded address, and sex or gender. Names are anonymised using a character replacement method to prevent the name information from being recognised. Addresses are geocoded to Address Register Identifiers (ARIDs), which are unique identifiers representing individual physical Australian addresses. Broader statistical geographies for addresses (e.g. Mesh Block) are also used in linkage.
At all points in the data linkage process, identifiable personal information is stored separately from other (analytical) information, and cannot be seen at the same time – in accordance with the Separation Principle. Additionally, analytical variables from each dataset are stored separately until they are brought together in a linked analytical dataset. These analytical datasets are created for specific purposes and include only the subset of MADIP analytical data required for that purpose. Note also that the MADIP “spine” is simply a ‘map’ or concordance of identifiers from one dataset to another, and does not contain any linkage or analytical data.
For details about the datasets involved, see the MADIP data and legislation page.
How is my personal information (e.g. name and address) used
Experience shows that having name and address information is crucial to achieving high quality linkage between administrative datasets and other collections, and thus creating high quality integrated datasets.
Personal information used in linkage (either in original form, or changed into an unrecognisable form to protect privacy) includes name, address, date of birth, and government identifiers. In particular, names are anonymised or encoded prior to linkage in MADIP. Other demographic information which does not directly identify a person (such as country of birth) may also be used to link datasets together where necessary to ensure high quality linked data.
The linked data available for analysis does not contain names and addresses.
How long will MADIP data be retained
Data supplied for and integrated as part of MADIP is retained by the ABS while there is a business need to do so, for instance to maintain and expand the integrated data. The need for retention is reviewed annually, or more frequently if appropriate. This is consistent with the Privacy Act 1988.