Wednesday, 10 August 2016

So there was a "Census Fail"

was there? The website crashed? Or was it taken out of operation? Or was it hacked? Or....what?
There were almost bound to be problems if around 15m people were trying to access one government website on one night. I don't know whether government claims that there were external problems (said to emanate from China) or whether the system just couldn't cope are correct. It could be a bit of both. There could have been other technical problems.
Being a good little cat  I had organised myself before hand. I filled out the Census form some days ago. Had a lot more people done that and then, providing it was still accurate, just logged in and pressed "send" there wouldn't have been nearly so many problems. You could in fact send the form earlier than that if you knew you wouldn't be away that night. I don't suppose anyone can possibly know where they will be but if you acted in the honest belief that you would be where you said you were then there would not have been a problem.
I find it extraordinary that the ABS did not tell people this. I also find it extraordinary that they said almost nothing about the census being compulsory. It was also rather extraordinary how difficult they made it for people to get a paper form. 
And then..all those people worrying about whether their "data" was secure if they fill out the form on line. Of course it isn't secure. Any computer can be hacked...but that means that the data the banks keep, the data the tax office keeps, the data the medical profession keep, and much more are not secure either. Nothing is 100% secure. It never has been. It never will be. But of course we need to worry about it.
We need to worry about it in just the same way that people worry about the even more personal information that many of them share on social media.

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