January 25, 2023

For immediate release

Insight 105 investigates how the IDI can gain the public’s trust. 

NZIER Insight 105 is a companion to NZIER Insight 103,  in which we examined how the Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI), administered by Stats NZ, is used in New Zealand for research and how this is helping us to make better policy decisions.

NZIER Economist Zhongchen Song says, “New Zealand’s linked and anonymised data sets provide a great tool for policymakers and their advisors to evaluate their policy and programmes more and improve services and the experience for users .”

Dr Song says, “Losing people’s trust and a social licence to undertake research is only one slip away. It is in everyone’s interest to ensure access to government databases by protecting the privacy of individuals behind these data” Stats NZ need to demonstrate, in an ongoing way,  that they are retaining the public’s trust in the Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI).

“As we have seen in historic cases here and overseas, failing to retain the trust of the public will seriously hinder service improvement and the user experience. All too frequent failings mean the public can often hold a negative preconception that ‘big data’ managers are incompetent, untrustworthy and dangerous.”

“Stats NZ has a robust framework for managing access, protecting privacy and ensuring robust research. However, although there are frameworks and safety precautions to safeguard the system, these frameworks should be communicated to the public plainly and transparently. Active management of the safeguards, especially among Māori, is essential if Stats NZ hopes to retain public confidence in the IDI.”

For further information, please contact:
Zhongchen Song
021 0221 8502

Read the Insight here