Hi all,

Not really software-Freedom related, but civil liberties and privacy
seem more in more seem to go hand-in-hand with the topic, and are once
more eroding.

You might have heard that, this year (well, next week), data collected
for the Australian Census will contain and, more worryingly, retain
identifying information along with the responses [0], with no
possibility to opt-out.

This is concerning both from a privacy and a data-quality perspectives.
First, non-anonymous surveys create the risk, when (not if) data is
leaked, that people will be discriminated or persecuted based on their
responses. There already are some nutters suggesting to use this
information to track people based on their religious beliefs [1].

Then, it also increases the risk that people will not respond truly
to protect things they might not want to see attached to their name. Or
things they might think can become dangerous for them in the future
(once again, [1]).

I'm trying to think about ways to give truthful answers while masking
one's identity, but I suspect it will be difficult considering they gave
a per-household code. Perhaps we should all make sure to not be home on
census day, and congregate in public places to fill in the details. Any
other ideas about how to de-correlate responses from identity?

Anyway, there are a couple of petitions floating around [2,3] asking the
ABS to revert this decision. It's getting a bit late but, if you care,
please sign them and circulate them around.

I'm trying really hard not to score a Godwin point right now.

[0] https://www.efa.org.au/privacy/census-2016/

Olivier Mehani <shtrom+f...@ssji.net>
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