MADIP - FAQs
 

What are the benefits of MADIP?
What has MADIP delivered so far?
What is the governance for the project?
How is my privacy protected?
How is my data kept secure?
Who has access to MADIP data?
How is MADIP data linked?
How is name and address information used?
How long will MADIP data be retained?
Can I access or correct my personal information?
How do I make a privacy complaint?
Who can I contact for more information about the project?



What are the benefits of MADIP?

MADIP shows how combining existing public data can be used to:
    • provide insight into the effectiveness of government policies, programs, and services to ensure they are delivering value to the Australian public
    • inform better targeting of services, such as health and early childhood services, to people and communities who need them
    • enable people and businesses to make more informed decisions.

What has MADIP delivered so far?

Since June 2015, MADIP has been testing the feasibility and value of combining important national datasets. The aim is to create an evidence base that helps agencies and analysts address complex policy and service delivery questions. A series of MADIP Case Studies have been developed to highlight the kind of insights this data can provide.

MADIP will expand to include new datasets from a broad range of sectors and to examine what insights could be gained by analysing data over time, rather than at a specific point in time.

What is the governance for the project?

The MADIP is a core component of the Australian Government’s Data Integration Partnership for Australia (DIPA).

There are three key levels of governance for the MADIP:
    • The Secretaries Data Group (replaced the Cross Portfolio Data Integration Oversight Board in November 2015) has oversight of data integration involving Commonwealth data for statistical and research purposes. This project forms part of the Public Sector Data Management agenda and the Data Integration Partnership for Australia (DIPA) driven by the Deputy Secretaries Data Group, which reports to the Secretaries Data Group.
    • The People Centred Data Oversight Committee (PCDOC) is composed of Deputy Secretaries from relevant agencies and has strategic oversight of data sharing, linking, and use in MADIP, and related issues.
    • The People Centred Data Analytical Unit (PCDAU) supports the PCDOC and is responsible for operational management and analytical priorities.

How is my privacy protected?

MADIP data can only be accessed by authorised users via highly secure systems. Access to information is also restricted to the specific requirements of the authorised user. Names and addresses are removed from analytical data so that individuals and organisations cannot be identified. Directly identifiable personal information used for linkage is stored separately from other information used for analysis. This is known as the Separation Principle.

In 2017, the ABS commissioned an independent privacy consultant to assess the impact of MADIP on individuals' privacy. A series of targeted consultations with key stakeholders were also held. For more information, visit the MADIP Consultation and independent Privacy Impact Assessment or ABS Privacy Impact Assessments pages.

Privacy protections are reviewed on an ongoing basis and will evolve as new technology becomes available and new data is added.

Learn about how the ABS is protecting your privacy.

How is my data kept secure?

The ABS is committed to data security. Learn about the safeguards we have in place to your keep your information secure here.

Who has access to MADIP data?

Access is only provided to authorised users within highly secure environments. This includes ABS staff responsible for linking and maintaining the data. Government and non-government researchers authorised by the ABS and the MADIP partner agencies have access to data for approved research projects. All users are legally obliged to use data responsibly for approved purposes, comply with the conditions of access, and maintain confidentiality of data.

All researchers must be approved for access under the Five Safes Framework. The approval process involves assessment of the researcher, their purpose for accessing the data, the data requested, the environment in which access will be granted, and the outputs of their research to ensure that these circumstances meet confidentiality and privacy requirements.

To apply for access to MADIP data for research purposes or to submit a query, email dipa@abs.gov.au.

How is MADIP data linked?

Data linkage takes place in a secure environment within the ABS, conducted by a dedicated team.

A small number of variables are used to link the data. Non-Census datasets are linked using name and other information, for example date of birth. Names from these datasets are converted into an unrecognisable string using a simple character replacement technique that protects the name information from being recognised. 2011 Census data is linked to the non-Census datasets using other demographic information (not name or address), such as date of birth and country of birth.

How is name and address information used?

Experience shows that using name and address information is crucial to achieving high quality linkage between administrative datasets, and thus high quality integrated datasets.

Names and addresses were used to link the administrative datasets (i.e. not Census).

Names and geocoded addresses from the 2011 Census were not used, as this information was permanently destroyed following the completion of Census processing. A range of other linking variables were used.

The linked data available for analysis does not contain names and addresses.

How long will MADIP data be retained?

Data supplied for and integrated as part of the MADIP is retained by the ABS while there is a business need to do so. The need for retention is reviewed annually. This is consistent with the Privacy Act 1988.

Can I access or correct my personal information?

Under the Privacy Act 1988 agencies that collect your personal information may permit you to access or correct it, where it is reasonable and practicable for them to do so. However, data collected under the Census and Statistics Act 1905 is subject to legal exemptions. It is also important to note that personal information such as names and addresses are removed when combined with other datasets as part of data integration activities. This makes it unlikely we would be able to locate your information to update or correct.

Any enquiries about accessing or correcting personal information in the MADIP should be directed to the ABS Privacy Officer at privacy@abs.gov.au or by phone on 02 6252 7203. Mail can be directed to:

Privacy Officer
Policy and Legislation Section
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Locked Bag 10
Belconnen ACT 2617

Any enquiries about accessing or correcting personal information outside of MADIP should be directed to the privacy officer of the relevant agency.

How do I make a privacy complaint?

If you think we may have breached your privacy rights or our privacy responsibilities in relation to the MADIP, a complaint should first be made to the ABS Privacy Officer using the information provided above.

If you are not satisfied with how the ABS Privacy Officer handles your complaint, or the outcome reached, you may refer your complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

Who can I contact for more information about the project?

For more information about MADIP, email dipa@abs.gov.au.