26 September 2023

Census planners to test privacy risks

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Specialist research and advisory consultant, Galexia has been selected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to undertake a privacy impact assessment on plans for the 2021 Census of Population and Housing.

General Manager of the Census Division at ABS, Chris Libreri said the consultant would identify and evaluate the potential impact of the Census on the privacy of individuals and recommend ways to minimise or manage possible privacy issues or risks.

Ms Libreri said a Privacy Impact Assessment was an important stage in the development of the next Census.

“We are taking a ‘privacy by design’ approach to planning and conducting the Census,” Mr Libreri said.

“This ensures the privacy of individuals is considered at every step, right across the program,” he said.

“An important part of the assessment process for Galexia will be wide-ranging external stakeholder consultation. This will help identify privacy risks and concerns, and ensure appropriate mitigation strategies are in place.”

He said the Privacy Impact Assessment would also inform how long the ABS would retain names and addresses from the 2021 Census.

“This is part of a consultation process which will involve the community, privacy experts and other stakeholders,” Mr Libreri said.

He said the Privacy Impact Assessment would be publicly available by August next year.

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