Census night disaster

With census night tonight, officials are hoping Australians will fill out the forms accurately and in full. There have been concerns from the public about privacy and security risks that are worrying individuals.

One source of concern is from the Australian Bureau of Statistics as they are planning on holding names and addresses for 4 years. The public are concerned now as just last year, the Hacktivist group Anonymous leaked out usernames and passwords from the US Census Bureau.

As well as privacy and security issues, Australians are also frustrated that they cannot call the Census inquiry line.  The census program manager, Duncan Young said the service received more than 600,000 calls in only a couple of days. The call centre was forced to hire more 800 new staff to take care of the calls that were coming in nationally.

Young also ensures that the Census and Statistics Act will keep their information safe from being released to the courts or other government agencies.

He also released a statement saying Census will hold information for 4 years as they can deal with social issues that are being faced in the nation right now. When completing the users form, the software that is built into the website will check if the computer they are using has at least SHA1 installed on it.

“ABS only offers a secure mechanism for people to transfer data from their home computer to the ABS. After that the data was not accessible on the internet,” Young said.

Around 65% of people will be completing their online forms, whilst other suburbs will be filling out the traditional paper forms as they do not have access to the online forms.