ABS responds to opinion piece about data and privacy

Re Nicholas Stuart's opinion piece, Canberra Times, 13 September 2017

The ABS never has and never will sell personal information. The ABS is required by law (Census & Stats Act 1905 and Privacy Act 1988) to ensure the privacy and secrecy of personal information and this is our primary responsibility. Data available from the ABS is de-identified and does not enable identification of personal information or individuals.

Within privacy and secrecy requirements, the ABS enables effective and safe use of the statistics and data that we produce, consistent with the Australian Government Public Data Policy Statement to deliver as much value as possible to the community from our public data. This is for the benefit of Australians, governments, businesses, and the community, to support decision making, stimulate innovation, and enable better economic, social and environmental outcomes for the nation.

Most ABS data and statistics are available free on the ABS website and we encourage its use to create new insights and inform important decisions.

David Kalisch
Australian Statistician