Midyear data release hopes to crowd source academic data-matching brainpower

The Centrelink robo-debt debacle hasn't dimmed the Australian government's enthusiasm for data-matching as a policy tool.

Largely lifted from a controversial program undertaken in New Zealand that willingly trades privacy for service outcomes, the review suggested applying big data to welfare recipients to identify and pursue individuals at risk of long-term unemployment or other forms of welfare dependency.

Part of that, as the department explains here, is the data release: access will be provided to de-identified, DSS longitudinal welfare data which are one of the data sets used to underpin the Priority Investment Approach.

As well as data matching, the program touches another potential flashpoint: anonymity.

We were told by a departmental spokesperson that the limited longitudinal data will be released to eligible stakeholders within six months.

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