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Protecting the privacy of Australians

The continued trust and support of our survey respondents and information providers is critical to the ABS. We maintain the secrecy of the information provided to us, as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905, while also ensuring that we meet the additional requirements of the Privacy Act 1988, the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme and the Privacy Code.

The ABS has also taken a strong ‘privacy by design’ approach to protecting the privacy of Australians, most recently demonstrated in the design approach of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey. Michael Crompton, Managing Director of Information Integrity Solutions Pty Ltd, and previous Australian Information Commissioner, was consulted on the privacy aspects of the Survey. In his independent privacy statement, Mr Crompton found the ABS strategy was “a comprehensive approach to assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of privacy protection measures from the start of the survey through to its completion, publication of statistics and destruction of all personal information collected”.

The Multi Agency Data Integration Project is also embracing privacy by design as it progresses with securely linking data from multiple agencies to inform policy and program development. The privacy and confidentiality of personal information is paramount to the success of this project and has been scrutinised through the conduct of an independent privacy impact assessment (IPIA). The IPIA acknowledged there are strong measures in place to protect privacy.