All ECU researchers have access to the CURFS database.
If you need detailed ABS survey information, search within the ABS database for CURFS & register to use.
What is CURF microdata?
Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs) are microdata files containing individual responses, which have been treated to protect privacy and confidentiality using a range of statistical techniques. There are two types of CURFs:
BASIC CURFS are designed for use in the researcher's own environment. There are over 100 basic CURFs available, covering many ABS social surveys, the Census of Population and Housing and some business data. Individual data items in basic CURFs are likely to be reported at a broader level than that offered in other ABS microdata products. Basic CURFs are available in MicrodataDownload.
EXPANDED CURFS have been designed for use in the secure DataLab and Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) environments. Due to these protected environments, researchers are able to access finer levels of detail than on a basic CURF.
Why is microdata confidentialised?
The ABS takes its responsibilities to protect the confidentiality of individuals' and organisations' data very seriously. This is fundamental to the trust the Australian public has in the ABS, and that trust is, in turn, fundamental to the excellent quality of ABS information. Without that trust, survey respondents may be less forthcoming or truthful in answering our questionnaires.
How are microdata confidentialised?
The most basic of the techniques employed by the ABS involves removing all identifying information, such as names and addresses.
Additionally, the data items that are most likely to enable identification of unit records are only released in broad categories. For example, while survey questionnaires may capture your home or business address, microdata may only be released at the State or Territory level.
More advanced confidentialisation occurs through checking the CURFs for records with uncommon combinations of responses. These records may be altered slightly to ensure individual respondents cannot be identified.
For more information, see 'Avoiding Inadvertent Disclosure' and 'Microdata' on our web page How the ABS keeps your information confidential.