The Census 2011 media hype is starting to ramp up with this Press Release:
where the Office for National Statistics reiterate their bureaucratic desire to snoop on your job / workplace address.
The Census 2011 Questions for England and Wales (.pdf) demand answers about "availability for work" in the past month, treating everyone as if they were all signing on to the dole at the local "Job Centre". They also ask:
33 In your main job, are (were) you:
- an employee?
- self-employed or freelance without employees?
- self-employed with employees?
34 What is (was) your full and specific job title?
35 Briefly describe what you do (did) in your main job.
36 Do (did) you supervise any employees?
37 At your workplace, what is (was) the main activity of your employer or business?
38 In your main job, what is (was) the name of the organisation you work (worked) for?
Write in the business name
Or tick: No organisation, for example, self- employed, freelance, or work (worked) for a private individual
40 In your main job, what is the address of your workplace?
Write in the address. If you work at or from home, on an offshore installation, or have no fixed workplace, tick one of the boxes below
- Mainly work at or from home
- Offshore installation
- No fixed place
These will not be contentious questions for many people, but for tens of thousands of people, the existence of such a National Database will represent a threat to their personal security or a threat to national security.
The Census 2011 Personal Information data is only Protectively Marked to almost the lowest category i.e. RESTRICTED, but such information like the entire listing of the Names, Date of Birth, Home Addresses, relationship details of Family Members, Job Titles, Employer's Name, Address, Postcode should be classified as SECRET or even TOP SECRET, when it applies, as it does to all UK based members of groups like:
- MI5 Security Service
- MI6 Secret Intelligence Service
- DIS Defence Intelligence Staff
- Special Forces like the SAS
- Military personnel
- Police Officers
- HMRC investigators
- Serious Organised Crime Agency officers
- Prison Officers
- Undercover Confidential Human Intelligence Sources
- People living under Witness Protection Schemes
- Women hiding from their abusive or violent partners or stalkers
- Key personnel who have access to the controls to the Critical National Infrastructure e.g. senior staff at a nuclear power station etc.
- Pharmaceutical Research and Development scientists harassed by animal extremists.
All of these groups and others, normally attempt to keep their Home Addresses or the fact that they work for a particular organisation secret, due to real or imagined threats to their personal security.
The insistence by the ONS on "full and specific" Job Titles, Employers Address, Location(s) and Post Code(s) etc. effectively tags such personnel to foreign intelligence agencies, crime gangs, terrorists and to stalkers within the bureaucracy.
e.g. Postcodes for
GCHQ at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire - GL51 0EX
MI5 the Security Service at Thames House, London - SW1P 1AE
MI6, Vauxhall Cross, London, SE1 1BD
Sizewell B Nuclear Power Station, Suffolk, IP16 4UR
Huntingdon Life Sciences research laboratories, Alconbury, Cambridgeshire - PE28 4HS
Her Majesty's Prison Wandsworth, London, SW18 3HS (largest UK prison population, full of illegal mobile phones and drugs and some corrupt or coerced prison officers)
Her Majesty's Prison Woodhill, Milton Keynes, - MK4 4DA high security prison with Muslim terrorist suspects and convicted terrorists.
Maghaberry Prison, Lisburn, Northern Ireland - BT28 2NF -
high security prison with IRA / UDA convicted terrorists.
New Scotland Yard - HQ of the Metropolitan Police Service, London - SW1H 0BG
These Census 2011 Questions even fall foul of the former Labour government's controversial "thought crime" legislation e.g.
This applies to current and former members of the armed forces, police constable and members of the intelligence services, even ones who have been dismissed from service.
Astonishingly, Section 58A is not going to be amended or repealed as promised before the General Election, according to the Conservative / Liberal Democrat Coalition Government's Review of counter-terrorism and security powers
Section 58A is as yet untested in the Court, however section 58 has been used to send several people to prison who had only collected some personal Information about one single soldier, so it must also apply to those who seek to collect, collate and concentrate such "potential death list" data on all of the people in the UK whose occupations put them and their families at real or imagined risk of violence from foreign spies, serious organised criminal gangs or terrorists.
Both sections have a "reasonable excuse" defence, but that only comes into play after your life has been ruined by being arrested (possibly at gunpoint in a dawn raid, where there is a real risk of getting shot), photographed, fingerprinted and DNA sampled, then charged under Terrorism legislation, thereby blacklisting internationally you for the rest of your life, even if you are acquitted or the charges are dropped.
If the hundreds of thousands of people in the categories listed above are not prosecuted for refusing to fill in a Census Form, or for not filling it in as accurately or as fully as the Office for National Statistics demands, then why should any of the rest of us be forced to do so either, if we feel strongly about particularly intrusive Census Questions ?
The Census 2011 press release:
Businesses throughout England and Wales are being asked by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to make sure that their employees know the postcode of their place of work so that they can record it on their 2011 Census questionnaires in March.
Knowing their workplace postcode is a key piece of information that feeds into the overall picture of life in England and Wales. Details of where people live, where they work and how they travel to their place of employment provide important statistics for transport planning and other strategic decisions.
The address and postcode of the employer is one of a number of questions contained in the census questionnaire about jobs, place of work, hours of employment and methods of travel to work. Answers to these questions help to build a profile of the economy of England and Wales and provide the foundation for other labour market and economic statistics published by ONS.
Note that the ONS makes no provision for simply filling in, say only the first 4 digits of the Post Code, which would be more than adequate for such planning purposes,.
Why should we let them be so unnecessarily intrusive ?
In the 2001 Census, nearly 8 per cent of questionnaires did not include a workplace postcode. In some parts of the country, the figure was as high as 18 per cent and large number of calls were taken by the census contact centre from people who were unsure about their work address.
8 per cent must be about 2 million questionnaires.
How many of those people were prosecuted for not filling in a "workplace postcode" ?
Possibly none of the 38 prosecutions since 2001 were only for this.
Deputy 2011 Census Director, Pete Benton, said, "While everyone is likely to know their own postcode at home, many won't know the postcode of their workplace.
"As well as asking for an employer's name, the questionnaire also asks for an address and postcode. While the internet makes it easier to look it up, not everyone has access to the web so we are asking all employers to make sure that their staff have the right information to enable them to complete this section of the questionnaire."
As well as underpinning the planning of public services, census statistics are also used extensively by the private sector. Information on such things as the skill and age profile of the workforce and where people live can help businesses to decide where to place new offices, factories and other places of work and what training they need provide for their employees.
So that would be the very definition of "excessive data collection" then: the collection of extra detailed information which is not directly relevant to an individual's daily life.
Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce said, "Businesses need this information to be able to make the right investment decisions. Census statistics can affect plans for business expansion and new industry, so it is worth making sure staff know their postcodes before completing these surveys.
From a purely selfish, profit centred, perspective, why should an established business make it easier for new competitors to start up, or for old ones to expand ?
All the relevant information about home addresses and work addresses is already known by the Government regarding the vast numbers of people who work in the public sector. Each Government department could collate and anonymise and transparently publish this information about itself on its own website or on a shared transport planning website.
"Having the right transport infrastructure in place is part of this overall picture and something as simple as making sure that your employees know their workplace postcode can really help this process."
Previous Census data has not succeed in producing "the right transport infrastructure", in the past, due to all of the other political and financial factors, so why should it be any different with the Census 2011 ?
There is an unacceptable cost to personal privacy and security, because the Census Questions are too detailed and too intrusive .
Remember, that for the England and Wales Census 2011, there is no longer any guarantee that your Personal Sensitive Information will not be handed over, on pain of up to 2 years in prison under the Census Act 1920, in secret, to a vast array of Government agencies and others, as a result of the wide ranging Exemptions introduced by the former Labour government's Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 section 39. Confidentiality of personal information
Census Day is 27 March 2011 and more information is available from www.census.gov.uk
For further information, images and interviews:
Press Hotline: 01329 447654