You share your life on Facebook...

…and you’re worried about your Government?

Somewhat related to the “if you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear” argument.

Facebook doesn’t know my date of birth, because I have chosen not to share it. Facebook doesn’t know my address because I’ve chosen not to share it. Facebook doesn’t know my postcode, my marital status, how many children I have, because I’ve chosen not to share them. Facebook has a photo of my car, but probably doesn’t know what it is.

The ABS are forcing us to share all these things, in order to make better plans for the future of Australia. That’s brilliant; we need this information. The ABS doesn’t need to know who the Muslims are though, just how many there are. The ABS doesn’t need to know who’s bought a new car, just how many. The ABS doesn’t need to know anyone’s date of birth to provide them services; age is sufficient. A postcode is all the information they need from our address in order to provide the services that Australians in my suburb need, in my suburb.

Under fear of prosecution, the ABS is creating a profile of all people, and then using our names and addresses to link that to ATO data, immigration department data, health department data, education department data, and more.

The ABS are going to have a profile of every person in Australia, that contains every bit of information about that person.

Historically, we’ve seen Jews and Japanese people rounded up and imprisoned, or killed, by their governments, based on census data. Recently, we’ve seen Britons putting letters through the doors of Polish households, telling them to “$&^% off back home” after the Brexit result. We have Trump supporters expressing violent hatred towards others, with full support of their would-be leader.

Just 20 years ago, same-sex relationships were still illegal in parts of Australia. State sanctioned hatred towards a minority group was present just 20 years ago, in our living memory. We now have One Nation in the senate, who want to have all Muslims locked up, or deported. The ACL are entrenched in the Nationals, and Family First parties, and have some sway. I’m sure they’d like to focus their anti-LGBTI protests in areas of highest LGBTI populations.

Even if we can trust the governments, we have the likes of LinkedIn, Ashley Madison, and even the USA National Security Agency, having data stolen from them through data leaks or hacks. The ABS have had 14 data leaks sine 2013 alone. From a security perspective, it’s statistically impossible to keep the data safe. It will only be a matter of time before this data becomes available to the highest bidder, after which point, every Australian will be in danger of identity theft.

Identity theft has been shown to cause people to go bankrupt instantly, without recourse. By impersonating someone, I could sell their property from underneath them, leaving them homeless and assetless. If I didn’t want to be so cruel, I could simply rack up lots of credit card debt in their name. They’d probably only end up in financial and emotional stress

Add to that, the ABS:

  • have lied about how they’ve used our data in the past – they’ve been linking our data since 2006 without publicly disclosing this fact,
  • have lied about their intentions with the recent changes – their proposal in 2015 was for indefinite data retention, and in April they said they only ever meant for four years,
  • and are still misinforming the public – their answer to “why are you retaining names and addresses” is “we have always collected names and addresses”. While true, they don’t answer the question; they have collected them, but not retained names and addresses, or linked them to our census answers.

They are creating a database that is now a really big target to hackers. It was anonymous before, so not so interesting. Now it’s going to be a gold mine.

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