The Census is set to be inflicted on us on Census Day / Night - Saturday 27th March 2011
Since it has, unfortunately, become impossible to trust this or any future Government with our Data Protection Act 1998 section 2 Sensitive Personal Data, the forthcoming Census, which appears to be a huge increase in the amount of bureaucratic snooping compared with the previous Census, is going to be very controversial.
SInce the data is being collected by US Defense Contractor Lockheed-Martin to data process, it will inevitably be handed over to the US Government, by hook or by crook, regardless of any legal contract signed with this weak Labour Government.
Why has the Whitehall bureaucracy been allowed to ignore the Principles of Data Minimization recommended by the Thomas and Walport Data Sharing Review?
Will the political Opposition manage to get any of these unnecessarily intrusive questions removed from this Draft Statutory Instrument, or will they just rubber stamp it "on the nod", as usual ?
Most of the potential benefits to members of the public, in terms of planning of future government services, simply needs just the number of people living in a particular area, and does not justify these intrusive Census questions
How many of these Sensitive Personal Data Questions about Names and Addresses, Medical Data, Disabilities, Racial Ethnicity, Religious Beliefs, Recent Job History, Accommodation Details and Familial Relationships. will you try to avoid or deliberately lie about ?
Remember that Census Data is not "anonymised".at the point of collection.
[UPDATED on 30th October to include this section on the removal of the supposedly absolute confidentiality of the census data]:
Remember also that, unlike previous Censuses, the supposedly cast iron guarantee of the Census Act 1920 to prevent the sharing of this supposedly confidential census data with the Police or Intelligence agencies or the Tax authorities etc. has now been abolished by a combination of the general "get out of jail for incompetent bureaucrats" clause introduced in by the amendments sneaked in to the Census Confidentiality Act 1991
1 Unlawful disclosure of information
In section 8 of the [1920 c. 41.] Census Act 1920 (penalties), the following subsections shall be substituted for subsection (2)--
(4) It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (2) or (3) to prove--
(a) that at the time of the alleged offence he believed--
(i) that he was acting with lawful authority; or
When this is combined with the
(1) Subject to this section, personal information held by the Board in relation to the exercise of any of its functions must not be disclosed by--
(a) any member or employee of the Board,
(b) a member of any committee of the Board, or
(c) any other person who has received it directly or indirectly from the Board.
(4) Subsection (1) does not apply to a disclosure which--
(a) is required or permitted by any enactment,
(b) is required by a Community obligation,
(c) is necessary for the purpose of enabling or assisting the Board to exercise any of its functions,
(d) has already lawfully been made available to the public,
(e) is made in pursuance of an order of a court,
(f) is made for the purposes of a criminal investigation or criminal proceedings (whether or not in the United Kingdom),
(g) is made, in the interests of national security, to an Intelligence Service,
(h) is made with the consent of the person to whom it relates, or
(i) is made to an approved researcher.
There is now no legal defence for the Office for National Statistics to stand up to the police, intelligence agencies, tax authorities or even High Court Orders brought by rich clients and their expensive lawyers, or other data snoopers, who want to use the census data for their own data trawling purposes to hunt down a particular individual or their family.
Here are the details of the Intrusive, and No Longer Confidential Questions which are to be demanded from you, under the threat of a fine of up to Level 3 on the Standard Scale i.e. £1000: