Value of Data Integration and ABS Protection of Information
|Keeping information secure|
The ABS has a number of safeguards in place to protect the data it holds. These include:
Image left: ABS data security system comprises security checks, risk reviews, access controls, security audits, a secured internet gateway and IT security.
All projects go through a rigorous assessment and approval process to ensure they have a clear benefit to the Australian community.
Data linking activities in the ABS that use personal information are conducted within a dedicated and secure data linking facility.
Consistent with international best practice, the staff members undertaking a linkage project cannot see all of your information together at any point of the data linking process. This is called the Separation Principle, which requires that personal information (e.g. name, address, date of birth) and analytical information (e.g. occupation, income, health services use) is kept separate at all times. Once datasets have been linked, any identifying information, such as name or address, does not form part of the linked dataset.
Privacy and Confidentiality of Information
The ABS respects the privacy of individuals and protects the confidentiality of their information by operating under the Census and Statistics Act 1905, and the Privacy Act 1988.
This legislation includes strong obligations to maintain the secrecy of information collected. This is a responsibility the ABS takes very seriously.
All ABS officers sign a secrecy and fidelity undertaking, legally binding them to never release information collected under the Census and Statistics Act 1905. Penalties include fines of up to $25,200 or imprisonment for up to two years, or both, for anybody convicted of breaching this obligation. As an Australian Government agency, the ABS also handles personal information in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles. As an Accredited Integrating Authority, the ABS abides by the High Level Principles for Data Integration Involving Commonwealth Data for Statistical and Research Purposes.
Data linked by the ABS may only be used for statistical and research purposes that provide a significant benefit to the community.
If you want to learn more about how we collect and use your information, please see www.abs.gov.au/privacy.
Image right: Data from various sources is collected/given to ABS, anonymisation and linkage process undertaken, analytical confidentialised files created, authorised users analyse linked confidentialised information, and data is used for statistical and research purposes.