ABS launches enormous ad campaign to remind us of the census

THE Australian Bureau of Statistics launched a massive advertising campaign to get Aussies thinking about the census, which will take place on Tuesday, August 9.

The ABS has downplayed fears about privacy concerns following the revelation that the names and addresses of those taking part will be kept on file for four years instead of the usual 18 months.

The ABS also came under pressure after it emerged the organisation had cross-referenced name and address data with records kept by other Australian departments.

"We all gave our names in good faith, thinking they'd be deleted," Australian Privacy Foundation vice-chair Kat Lane told the ABC.

From next week, Aussie households will receive a letter from the ABS.

Census Program head Duncan Young said the letter would contain a unique 12-digit login and instructions on how to complete the census online.

"Census data is critical to our democracy. It informs decision and policy-making about services and infrastructure in all communities across Australia," Mr Young said.

"Just as the census can be completed using desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones, the census advertising campaign is heavily digital and designed to highlight the ease of participating online."

People who cannot access the internet or would prefer to fill out a paper form can phone an automated paper form request service and a paper form will be sent in the mail.

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