We are not the ABS, and we can't help you obtain a paper form or login details for the census.

We know that a lot of people have been having trouble getting through to the ABS and/or haven't received a form or their login details. According to the ABC, "[p]aper forms need to be returned by September 18, while people have until September 23 to fill out an online form".

Anecdotally, late in the evening or early in the morning are the best times to get through to the ABS and you can reach them at 1300 820 275.

*****

The Census is now less than two weeks away, and there are significant changes that affect your privacy that you should be aware of.

The key change is that, for the first time, name and address information will be retained beyond the initial data collection process.

Name and address information is of course personal information. The information given in the census about religion, income, and so on is sensitive information. There is a real risk of this information being re-identified or the access to this information being increased in the future. In addition, data leaks continue to occur despite the best efforts of governments and organisations. The safest way to avoid risk is to destroy the names and addresses immediately.

As well as representing a threat to privacy, concerns have been raised about the integrity of the data obtained by the upcoming census. Although it is illegal to knowingly provide false or misleading information on a census form, it is feared that many people may avoid participating, or provide misleading information, in order to protect their privacy. Even on a relatively small scale, acts of civil disobedience with regard to the census could seriously skew the data. With so much of the public debate and government policy in Australia being based on an understanding of the population which leans heavily on census data, EFA is concerned about the implications of a misrepresentative census.

In previous censuses, respondents were allowed to opt-in to having personally identifiable information retained, and it is the position of EFA that respondents to the 2016 Census should have the same privacy protections afforded to respondents of previous censuses, in line with community expectations.

See our Census 2016 page for more information about:

  • what's new this year
  • your rights and obligations
  • the implications of how you might choose to respond

PLEASE NOTE

WE DO NOT ADMINISTER THE CENSUS. IF YOU HAVE AN ENQUIRY REGARDING YOUR FORM OR RESPONSE, PLEASE DIRECT IT TO THE AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS. SEE: http://abs.gov.au/contact

166 comments

  1. I did NOT get a censes form or a code, so what happen now.
    it looks like I'm not just the only one. my flat mate never got one either

    Comment by warwick on 9 August 2016 at 21:42
  2. I did not receive a PIN number to log on. Nothing in mail re census at all !!!
    Can't get onto site. Tried many times. Don't bother fining me as I'd put time aside to complete it this evening.

    Comment by Claire Savy on 9 August 2016 at 21:59
  3. I have not received any mail about my pin code and the site is not working! I don't want to get the fine! What do I do???

    Comment by Silsila Amini on 9 August 2016 at 22:08
  4. I haven't as yet received my household census envelope. Please if possible may I have mine sent out to
    [personal information redacted]

    I can not submit mine if I haven't received my code to put into your system.

    This would be dearly appreciated

    Look forward to your reply,
    Kindest Regards
    Tammy Gill

    Comment by Tammy Gill on 9 August 2016 at 22:25
  5. I have bee ringing for the forms for two families one in Sydney and for my home. Not once not twice but many many times since receiving the leaflet and code.
    The other family have now returned to Sydney no access to computers no idea of what to do. Not my problem. Mine is and require forms to fill out I don't have a PC connected to internet and can't do on my ph. Censorship please help as I can't afford your fines for your blunders.

    Comment by Dale Martinelli on 9 August 2016 at 23:18
  6. The ABS say they're going to delete the names and addresses after four years, and keep only the linkage keys, which they claim are anonymous.

    Since the idea of the linkage keys is to allow the data to be correlated with other data sets, which contain names and addresses, there must be a consistent way of converting names and addresses into linkage keys. Probably a hash function.

    So, take a set consisting of all the names and all the addresses in Australia, and create the linkage keys for them. Then compare those keys with the supposedly anonymous linkage keys that the ABS has retained, and you have a mapping from linkage key to names and addresses (this is essentially a variant of a dictionary attack). That is, the linkage keys are not anoymous at all, and the ABS (or government, with legislative change) can recover the names and addresses at any time in the future.

    Any other actor could do this as well if they have access to the function, so a leak or hack at any time in the future could result in census data, with names and addresses attached, being released into the wild, or otherwise nefariously used.

    The ABS claims regarding privacy are thus somewhat overstated. I hope they've merely overlooked this, rather than hoped that everyone else would.

    Sylvia

    Comment by Sylvia Else on 10 August 2016 at 19:22
  7. Dale, you have no reason to worry about fines. All the ABS has done so far is to ask you nicely to complete the census. Before they can fine you they have to serve on your a notice to complete the census, and provide the census form for you to complete. Only if you then fail to complete the form they provide for at least fourteen days can they fine you. So it's perfectly safe for you just to do nothing, and wait for the ABS to do their part.

    Sylvia.

    Comment by Sylvia Else on 10 August 2016 at 19:26
  8. I didn't receive a pin No to log on to site so what do I do now?????

    Comment by lynn hanson on 10 August 2016 at 20:40
  9. I am still waiting for the initial letter and or code. Nothing has arrived via the post for any member of my family ... Bizarre

    Comment by George on 11 August 2016 at 11:39
  10. I have not received a PIN number or logon details to the site
    What do I do

    Comment by Deeba sriramulu on 11 August 2016 at 19:48
  11. i have not recieved my pin code so i can log in.. what do.i do?

    Comment by mel b on 13 August 2016 at 15:48
  12. I have a question . Currently I live i Germany how I can get the form outside the coutry?

    Comment by Musa on 14 August 2016 at 06:26
  13. We havnt received a pin number or a any other census imformation at our mail address what do i do ???

    Comment by jennifer coote on 15 August 2016 at 09:57
  14. we have not received a pin or any other census information at our mail address what do we do, we don't want to get fined

    Comment by mwango mbalushi on 19 August 2016 at 16:33
  15. I don't have a pin to fill out on line. What do I do?

    Comment by Yvonne Morley on 7 September 2016 at 09:53
  16. I did not receive a census form or any other paperwork re login access number etc.i have tried and tried ringing about this but can never get through or get the information required

    Comment by Chris Viles on 17 September 2016 at 07:23