Additional Comments by the Australian Greens

Introduction

1.1        The chapter of the committee report devoted to privacy concerns mentions the 2006 efforts by the ABS to move to retention of name and address data and the creation of a ‘Longitudinal Data Set’, and notes the failure of the ABS to reconcile the differences between the thorough Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) conducted by Pacific Privacy Consulting in 2005 and the internal PIA conducted by the ABS a decade later. The earlier PIA noted that the longer a longitudinal record is retained, the more possible individual identification becomes.

1.2        Given the identified flaws in the 2015 PIA, including that the committee found no evidence that the ABS consulted with community groups, non-government organisations or privacy advocacy groups, any changes to the ongoing management of census data justified by this PIA should be postponed until a more substantial PIA, along the lines laid out in the committee report, is conducted. If the changes again fail to withstand such scrutiny, they should not be implemented.

1.3        Such a process will also serve to commence the rehabilitation of the ABS in the eyes of the public, and begin to restore trust in the institution.

Recommendation 1

1.4        A new independent Privacy Impact Assessment is performed on the changes to the census within the next 6 months, the outcome of which must determine the acceptability of the changes made to the management of census data after the 2016 census.

Senator Richard Di Natale
Leader of the Australian Greens

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