ABS - Australian Bureau of Statistics

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ABS - Independent and Public Privacy Impact Assessment National Health Survey (NHS) Linkage Project for ABS and Department of Health (2018)

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Galexia was engaged by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to prepare an Independent Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) examining the privacy considerations around the National Health Survey (NHS) Linkage Project.

The purpose of the PIA was to assist in identifying and managing privacy issues that are raised by the proposed integration of data between the 2014-15 NHS and MADIP (Multi-Agency Data Integration Project). While the NHS survey data was at a point in time (in this case collection took place between July 2014 and June 2015), MADIP data is longitudinal.

The key proposal was to:

1. Link the 2014-15 NHS data with a range of other data held in MADIP to facilitate research and statistical analysis; and

2. Ensure an effective governance framework for the proposed data integration (noting that NHS Linkage Governance will fall under MADIP Governance arrangements).

Galexia's advice included:

  • Advising on the privacy issues associated with linking the 2014/15 NHS to the MADIP, including support for a targeted consultation process and conduct of an independent PIA.
  • Identifying sub-populations for particular attention, and assess personal information and sensitive/less- sensitive variables;
  • Providing general advice to inform the communication strategy for the project.
  • Assisting ABS to apply learning from this process to inform its approach for future health surveys

In August 2018 this PIA was publicly released, and ABS has accepted all the recommendations. View PIA and ABS response »

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ABS - Independent and Public Privacy Impact Assessment on Multi-Agency Data Interchange Project (MADIP) (2017/18)

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On 4 April 2018 the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) published an independent Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) on the Multi-Agency Data Interchange Project (MADIP) completed by Galexia.

The ABS (and the 6 partner agencies in MADIP) accepted all 14 recommendations in the PIA.  

Galexia was engaged by the ABS to provide independent advice on the large-scale data interchange between the ABS and other Government agencies. This PIA reflects a growing interest in ensuring that privacy and security concerns are addressed in the integration of data for research purposes.

The Multi-Agency Data Integration Project (MADIP) proposes to bring important national datasets together to explore how the Australian Government can make better use of existing public data for policy analysis, research, and statistical purposes.

There are six Commonwealth agencies working together on the MADIP:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS),
  • Australian Taxation Office (ATO),
  • Department of Education and Training,
  • Department of Health,
  • Department of Human Services (DHS), and
  • Department of Social Services (DSS).

As part of the PIA process Galexia also consulted with the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet (PM&C) and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).

In accepting the PIA recommendations, the ABS has agreed to boost openness, transparency and security arrangements for the project. 

The PIA and the Government's response to the 14 recommendations are available at:

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