The ABS is committed to maximising the value of public data and statistics. One way to do this is to combine data from two or more sources together. This is known as data integration.
Data integration can help policy makers and researchers gain a much better understanding of Australian families, communities, industry, and the economy. This better understanding can help to improve the development and delivery of government services in areas such as health, education, infrastructure, and other community services.
Data integration is also more efficient and less costly than undertaking surveys, and can help to reduce the burden on Australian households and businesses to provide data that is already available.
The ABS takes data security very seriously and the protection of your privacy is our priority, including on data integration activities:
- We have strong safeguards in place to protect the data we hold
- We will never release information in a manner that is likely to enable an individual or organisation to be identified
- Authorised researchers that breach their obligations under the Census and Statistics Act 1905 can face fines of up to $25,200, and/or up to two years in prison
- Data is only combined where there is a clear public benefit
- Data can only be used for policy analysis, research, and statistical purposes. It cannot be used for compliance purposes
- All of our projects comply with the Privacy Act 1988 and other relevant legislation
- We work closely with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner to ensure our privacy protection measures align with community expectations and best practice
- We are authorised to undertake data integration activities by law
Data integration is a key priority for the Australian Government. From 2017-18, the ABS received additional funding under the Data Integration Partnership for Australia (DIPA) to work with other Commonwealth agencies to produce high-quality and secure integrated data, including through the Multi-Agency Data Integration Project (MADIP) and the Business Longitudinal Analysis Data Environment (BLADE).
The ABS is committed to openness and transparency. The Data Integration Project Register provides information about the data integration projects the ABS is involved in.