Post archive – by topic

Entries in privacy (2)


Government raids aren't about journalists, but about society

Forget ‘journalists’: the AFP raids are an attack on people who make life uncomfortable for the state; people who resist the desires of government and government bodies to keep their mistakes secret and avoid being held to account. Journalists might be “chilled” by these raids, but they are primarily the vector for attacks on whistle blowers – which is to say, attacks on ordinary people exposing the wrongdoing of those with power.

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Research vs consent: the Australian Census

I’m quite conflicted about the Australian Census this year. Basically I’m torn between loving the Census and thinking the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) are handling the process – especially the privacy concerns – like out-of-touch chumps.

On the one hand, the Census is great. It provides data that are incredible valuable and important for many, many aspects of policy in Australia. My work and research would be so much harder without the ABS in general, and the Census in particular. I want both to continue and to be excellent.

On the other hand – what the fuck are the ABS doing? Linking our Census data with data from other sources may be incredibly valuable from a research perspective, but it’s also a massive reduction in privacy. The trade may well be worth it – but for fuck’s sake, that’s not a decision an agency just gets to announce.

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