Australia's privacy watchdog launches '#Censusfail' probe

Oi! Statistics wonks ... please explain that foreign 'attack' ...

Hard on the heels of endorsing the Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS') process for the 2016 Census, Australia's privacy commissioner Timothy Pilgrim has had second thoughts and launched an investigation into its failure.

The investigation comes as a result of the collapse of the ABS's Census sites during August 9, and the Chief Statistician's announcement earlier this morning that the site was attacked by an internationally-launched denial-of-service (DoS) campaign

Yesterday, Pilgrim told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's The World Today program he was satisfied with the security measures the ABS had put in place.

This morning, his office has announced an investigation.

Pilgrim says the ABS told him last night that the bureau “shut down the website in order to protect personal data”.

The statement continues: “Yesterday I noted that the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has been briefed by the ABS on the privacy protections put in place for the Census. My office will continue to work with the ABS to ensure they are taking appropriate steps to protect the personal information collected through the Census.”

The Register has asked the ABS how it can demonstrate no data was exfiltrated during the attacks, but has yet to receive a response. ®

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