ABS responds to 'Privacy fears raised' (The Sun Herald, 30 May 2010, pg 26)

The ABS eCensus is secure and trusted

In relation to Sunday's article about privacy and the online Census, Australians should have no fears about privacy or confidentiality when filling out the 2011 eCensus.

The eCensus is not a new initiative. It was introduced for the last Census in 2006 to satisfy the public's increased demand for online Government services. In 2006, approximately 10 per cent of households participated in the Census via the eCensus.

The eCensus technology has undergone rigorous third party testing, and is protected by strong encryption technology. As with the traditional paper Census, all information collected by the Australia Bureau of Statistics is kept confidential, and no information provided is released in a way that can identify particular individuals or households.

I encourage all Australians who can access the Internet to participate in next year's Census on 9 August via the eCensus. It's fast, simple to navigate, secure, and online help is available. However, the eCensus is optional. Anyone not comfortable filling out the Census online or who cannot access the Internet can still use the traditional paper form for the 2011 Census.

Brian Pink
Australian Statistician