It’s basically Christmas morning for nerds, people.
Yes. Tonight is census night, and the Australian Bureau of Statistics is billing it as our national moment to ‘pause’.
Woohoooo! It’s a non-violent, animal-cruelty-free race that will quietly stop the nation.
But, not everyone is celebrating.
Some people, people that a girlfriend of mine describes as “numpties with a Snowden complex” are planning to leave the name and address section of their census form blank, and a number still are planning to boycott the census altogether.
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Because they don’t like the idea that the government will know the basic facts about you – your name, your age, your address, and a range of other important demographic indicators that will help plan for our nation’s future.
There are a number of things about this that I find somewhat baffling.
Let’s break them down.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics already collects your name and address data with your census information.
Yes, that’s right. In 2011, the last time we did this, you were asked to supply your name and address along with the rest of information you supplied with your census. In fact, as part the very first census in Australia in 1828, the people of NSW were asked to supply their name and address.
This is not a new request.
Critics, including the very vocal South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon, claim that this is an intrusion of privacy and a violation of human rights, which makes me cock my head to the side and quizzically remark, “Okkkaayyyyyyy.”
Other critics are concerned about the security of the data collected in the census, specifically that having name and address and demographic data directly linked may leave members of the community vulnerable to identity theft in the case of a data breach.