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"Instead, the Government is examining different and cheaper ways to count the population more regularly, using existing public and private databases, including credit reference agencies."
Why am I suspicious?
Private databases? Wasn't there something called the Data Protection Act?
Wasn't there something about getting a court order to look at bank statements?
Wasn't there something called Magna Carta?
(And if you don't think it's that basic, good. I just don't like the sound of it.)
Unfortunately the Census is a bit like the Electoral Register. Its compulsory to fill it in, but if you don't, despite the provision for penalties, there is no action taken, so its a bit of a dinosaur.
If you don't want the authorities to know you exist you just ignore it, and I'm sure that the many hundreds of thousands of people who are in this country illegally will do just that.
£482 million it is going to cost to do it next year.
Maybe it would be better spent on repairing schools or hospitals.
I only mentioned schools because of the state of some of them shown on the news yesterday.
How they are allowed to stay open with the state that they are in I know not.
I'm afraid that once again I have failed to express my concerns properly.
I am not particularly concerned about the census. Having to fill out another government form every ten years is a matter of indifference to me, and if the didn't spend the money on that they'd find some other hare brained scheme to invest in.
What concerns me is "the Government is examining different and cheaper ways to ......... using existing public and private databases"
Private databases? That doesn't just include your bank and credit card databases, but PCA's database of 300,000 users, and every other site for which you have a log in code.
It includes your Tesco Club Card database, Ladbrokes database, the Holiday Inn regular user database, the AA, the RAC, the local football supporters' club.
A truly massive amount of very personal and private information, all at the disposal of any civil servant with access, and available to be downloaded and lost.
Forget the minor inconvenience of the census - we could be looking at a major erosion of hard won rights.
You will still miss the itinerants and those without driving licences/passports and such people are unlikely to pay tax or be registered with a doctor/hospital.
Having said that it is likely they either wouldn`t have an address or wouldn`t bother to fill the form out anyway - even if they were literate!!!
I agree with your sentiment on sources of data and the DP Act etc. Trouble is that it is not unlikely this data is already being used anyway whether we like it or not.
With the use of huge databases and very fast machines, not to mention the various disclosure acts available to the intelligence/security network, this sort of compilation could already be held in some 'dimly lit room' as a result of 'happenings in the past ten years or so.
I have no doubt that 'Big Brother' isn`t simply a TV programme for those who enjoy hedonistic tendencies, but a reality the general public can never be made privy to as the results for 'authority' would be alarming.
What will the family historians in 2121 look at? The old censuses are very good tools for family historians.
Perhaps this is another one of those "I told you so" "the Big Brother state is nearer than you think" :O)
But going generally on how the census is run, then in all possibilities it is sure not a failsafe system. If your details are not on a database somewhere, then you sure are "ain't there".
In my travelling years, I visited a number of countries that had ID systems in place, and the population were readily checked, from point of entry to point of exit, including living local.
Nothing like having a complete shut-down of a country when a census takes place. A very scary feeling with usually good end results.
"the various disclosure acts available to the intelligence/security network,*
Most of these require a court order or at least authorisation from the Home Secretary.
I'm pretty sure the FE will confirm that the PCA databases are not open to casual perusal by any government agency.
Quite why fourm member regards a GP database, open to quite a large number of authorised NHS employees, and probably others, right across the country as "private" I can't see.
Anybody can pay to view the Census they can't to view Doctors lists I too am very suspicious things always go wrong when trying to do things on the cheap
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