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Monday, August 08, 2016

Census Is Coming - But Not Yet...

Well, after all the discussion about doing the census on-line, I find I can't. We were assured the up-to-date browser requirement was only for officials. Not true. I went to the web site because apparently it will let you through early, and it seemed simpler than waiting till everyone else in the country was doing it, and tried to log in.

The message I got was that my browser - and my operating system - were out of date and could I please try another device? If I can't do that, give them a call to order a paper form. I called. I got an automated message asking for the login number, then it thanked me for my call and hung up. I assume this means they will send me the paper form now, but I didn't speak to a human being. My sister did, when she rang to order one for our mother, and was assured that the census was due in September, whatever she had been told, and didn't have to be handed in immediately. Assuming that my login will go to a human being somewhere, the form will arrive within 7 working days. (Apart from the fact that the new Aussiepost is now slow and more expensive. So maybe 9 working days?)

For those of you who don't live in Australia and may not have heard, there has been a lot of anger over the government's decision to keep our names  for four years instead of the 18 months they need to process the data. Four years - in other words, till the next census. And as it's being done on-line, there is the danger of having our details stolen. Not to mention the danger of the government using them for things we won't be happy about.

"Oh, but it's so easy for them to find you anyway!" we hear. "You're on social media. They know about you!" Yes. But not neatly arranged for whenever they want to look up, say, all the Jews in Australia, or all the Muslims, etc. And with the recent election there are a number of truly crazy Senators, including one who thinks we should be teaching climate denial in the schools(he used to work in the coal industry); if he doesn't believe the Earth is flat, he comes close to it. And he is one of those who want the Racial Discrimination Act altered in the name of "freedom of speech", ie "we should be able to be horrible to anyone we want, but we'll sue the pants off them if the shoe is ever on the other foot."  By the way, he got in with just 77 votes(family and friends?) - the rest was above-the-line preferences. The nut-cases may have the balance of power in this government.

A lot of people are going to be Jedi Knights this year, and the information in general will not be accurate. And the web site will crash tomorrow night, with millions of people trying to log in.

Hopefully, they will get the idea soon enough.

I'm going back to my books. A book isn't going to look up information about your health or your religion or sell your information to private companies.


UrbanDragon said...

I'm having trouble even logging on to the site. My saner half filled in some of the census, but then fell out before he could save his work. So it's a good thing we have plenty of time to fill this thing in.

Have you considered logging in with a library computer?

Sue Bursztynski said...

The site crashed, so it's not you or your computer. My neighbour was going down the street to use one of the St Kilda Library's computers when I was arriving home, but I suspect he had the same problem as everyone else. I'll ask him tomorrow. If you mean one of my school's computers, the school network is always crashing anyway.

The who.ecthing was predictable. Despite the crash, the ABS spokespeople are insisting that it's going smoothly!

UrbanDragon said...

Lol. Yes, apparently it was already crashing at 5pm. Not a good look.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Hubris on the part of the ABS. Serve them right.