Frequently Asked Questions

Is this site serious?

The premise is serious, and the names are stupid. The census is supposed to help make policy decisions based on aggregated demographics. There is no need to gather names, and they can only be used nefariously, with the exception of as curiosities for future generations, who have better ways of finding out about ancestors.

Why are you doing this?

Electronic Frontiers Australia and Pirate Party Australia have both called for various ways of dealing with the census, however they are agreed that the privacy violations are wrong and dangerous. I would go for the Pirate Party's boycott, except that I'd also like to support Atheist Foundation of Australia's No Religion campaign, because the legitimate aspects of the census include making policy decisions based on the constitution of the populace, and I think our government is not secular enough.

What's really so wrong with storing names against demographic data?

What you believe, and how much you earn, your relationship status, your citizenship and country of birth and other ethnic background, and disabilities, education and other information is all collected. Linking that to who you are might be fine in a perfect world with perfect data protection, as well as a guarantee that the current government, and all future governments, will be entirely virtuous. Hackers would love that data, as would political parties and corporations, as would any Trump-like future government. It would be worth a fortune for commercial purposes, and even if the ABS intends to keep it locked up, the people at the AEC are not infallible. Census data has been used to identify people to kill in the past, and in the worst case, it could happen again.

What could happen if I provide false information on the census

I hope to answer this question in more detail before the census, but I'm led to believe that nothing should happen, even if the Australian Electoral Commission send some nasty letters or threaten action.

How else can our descendants find out about us?

Have you seen how much we already choose to violate our own privacy? You're on Facebook, right? That's the stuff that happens today, and data collection is only increasing. And of course, you can always choose to log the information on the census and store it yourself, and pass it on when you die.