Stats Bureau could get private info about domestic violence victims


A new framework for providing information about domestic violence cases to the Australian Bureau of Statistics could give the agency access to private information, according to the Pirate Party.

Pirate Party deputy secretary and WA co-ordinator Fletcher Boyd said the framework would put confidential information at risk.

Under the plan, information about people involved in domestic violence, including their household income, family relationships, types and frequency of violence, court proceedings and medical treatment, would be available to the ABS.

The information would be collected by other agencies and provided to the ABS to ensure the consistency of the information and to help identify other cases of domestic, family or sexual violence.

ABS spokesperson Richard Lynch said all private information would remain confidential.

“The way it works with the ABS is that all information remains completely anonymous,” Mr Lynch said.

“Even if you’re trying to do tricky statistical stuff and there’s only three people in an area and one of those people are ‘Oh I know my results and I know someone else’s results so that allows me to identify the third person’, it’s not even possible to do that.”

But Mr Boyd said people could still identify each other. “I think the unfortunate nature there is their lack of fundamental understanding of how technology works,” Mr Boyd said.

“This extreme access to data requires judicial oversight, which by the sound of it, is present.”