[Linux-aus] Census data risks - retention and correlation of records

Steven Hanley sjh at svana.org
Tue Apr 5 15:35:45 AEST 2016

On Tue, Apr 05, 2016 at 02:32:16PM +0930, Glen Turner wrote:
> Neill Cox wrote:
> > IANAS (I am not a statistician)
> Hi Neill
> I was :-)  I did a degree in CompSci, Math and Economics. I worked for
> the Australian Bureau of Statistics from 1988 for about a decade.
> During that time I worked on a population census (and a heap of other
> things).
> > My understanding is that the census has always collected names and
> > addresses and always kept those on the paper records.
> Correct, but only because you used the word "collected". Names and
> addresses were not retained beyond the end of census input processing
> (data entry, editing, follow up of outliers).
> Names and addresses were on tear-off sheets on the front of the form.
> Once we were happy there was no follow-up required then that page was
> torn off and shredded. From that point onwards there was no way to get
> from the form to an individual (well, induction from the answers given,
> but you get my point).
> >  Given that they're moving to online data collection this change
> > seems inevitable.
> Disagree. Just as a page can be thrown away once it is no longer
> required, a database column can be dropped once it is no longer
> required. You can arrange it so that backups containing the deleted
> data are destroyed.

I agree, until this census the data was anonymoized once they no longer
needed the identity attached. This time it is not opt out.

>From my understanding if you are not at home or in a dwelling where census
data is ccollected on August 9th you do not need to fill it in.

This is the first time ever I have been tempted to ensure I am camping in
the wilderness [0] somewhere on Tuesday August 9th so as not to be in the census
data as there is no option to opt out of them keeping the identifying

	See You

[0] not in internet connectiviy range so no online filling in of the census
can happen either.

Steven Hanley sjh at svana.org http://svana.org/sjh/diary
what good is a poker face, when you've got an open hand
i was supposed to be cool about this, yeah i remember cool was the plan
tried to keep it all under wraps, but the wraps kept going slack
   Worthy - Not A Pretty Girl - Ani

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