UPDATE: Online Census - ABS hoses down smartcard talk

UPDATE: Online Census - ABS hoses down smartcard talk

In response to the Computerworld article "Online Census debuts with view to smartcard", the Australian Bureau of Statistics has moved to quell speculation that the electronic Census may be integrated with the proposed Human Services Access Card.

The ABS's census head, Paul Williams said the bureau has "no intention at all" of integrating the 2011 eCensus with the federal government's proposed smartcard.

Williams said in the lead-up to the 2006 eCensus for example, the ABS considered a range of security systems from other organizations both in Australia and overseas. "But just because we look at the security for a system doesn't mean we have any intention of integrating with that [Human Services Access Card] system."

Williams said Peter Clark, head of the eCensus project team, was commenting that a smartcard-style security and log-on system might be appropriate for the 2011 eCensus.

Williams said the ABS would "never consider" integrating the eCensus with any other system as personal information is never released outside the ABS - except for those people who agree to take part in the Time Capsule project - and "there are severe penalties for doing so".

"ABS destroys all name and address information once Census processing is complete," he said. "Personal privacy is paramount at the ABS. People can be confident that the ABS will keep their personal information secure - both that provided in paper Census forms and in the eCensus. The ABS has never and will never release such information to any outside organization, agency or project."

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