[LINK] The Serious Privacy-Invasiveness of Census 2006
Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Sat Aug 5 17:29:16 EST 2006
The 2006 Census is vastly more privacy-threatening than its predecessors.
The massive P.R. blitz that the ABS has conducted has found willing
accomplices throughout the media, who repeat the good news stories
that they're fed, apply no scepticism, and ask no hard questions.
The Australian Privacy Foundation's summary is here:
The original proposals of March 2005 were so bad that there would
have been active campaigns to encourage civil disobedience resulting
in Census data becoming worthless.
After the Australian Statistician conducted consultations with a few
groups, in particular APF, they backed off on the original plans.
But the scaled-back proposal is still a huge problem. Moreover, it'
s clearly intended as a first step, to enable the resumption of the
original plan in 2011.
For these reasons, I for one will probably not be providing data, or
providing pseudo-data, or getting so drunk that I can't remember
where I was and using that as an excuse for not handing in a form, or
... (I started assembling a list of options late last year, but
can't remember them all).
For others who may be considering such measures, below are the basics
on the compulsoriness of filling in Census forms.
Feel free to post this on to other individuals and lists, as appropriate.
The Census site states at:
"If you do not answer the questions, the Australian Statistician has
the power to direct you to provide the information. If he does this,
you have a legal obligation to comply."
Census and Statistics Act s.14 says:
(1) A person who, without reasonable excuse, refuses or fails to
comply with a direction served on the person under subsection 10(4)
or 11(2) is, in respect of each day during which the person so
refuses or fails to comply with the direction (including the day of a
conviction under this section or any subsequent day), guilty of an
offence punishable on conviction by a fine not exceeding $100.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to a refusal or
failure by a person to answer a question, or to supply particulars,
relating to the person's religious beliefs.
which refer back to s.8:
and to s. 9:
A person shall not, in connection with:
(a) a requirement made of the person under subsection 10(2);
(b) a request made of the person under subsection 10(3) or 11(1); or
(c) a direction served on the person under subsection 10(4) or 11(2);
make a statement, either orally or in writing, or furnish a document
containing information, that is to his or her knowledge false or
misleading in a material particular.
(1) An offence against this Act ... shall be prosecuted summarily.
Where under subsection 10(4) or 11(2) an act or thing is required to
be done within a particular period or before a particular time, the
obligation to do that act or thing continues, notwithstanding that
that period has expired or that time has passed, until that act or
thing is done.
[No, I don't understand the significance of that either]
(1) Charges against the same person for any number of offences
against section 14 may be joined in the same information or complaint
if those offences relate to a failure to do the same act or thing.
(2) If a person is convicted of 2 or more offences referred to in
subsection (1), being offences related to a failure to do the same
act or thing, the court may impose one penalty in respect of both or
all of those offences, but that penalty shall not exceed the sum of
the maximum penalties that could be imposed if a penalty were imposed
in respect of each offence separately.
Roger Clarke http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd 78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au http://www.xamax.com.au/
Visiting Professor in Info Science & Eng Australian National University
Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program University of Hong Kong
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre Uni of NSW
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