ANZ Dashboard Digest

Census Opt-Out Raises Concerns

PERSONAL PRIVACY—AUSTRALIA

July 22, 2011

While some may choose to opt out of having their census responses archived, historians are among those urging them not to do so. One expert suggests such documents should be automatically archived, as is done in the U.S., and held for 99 years before they are made public. Acting New South Wales Privacy Commissioner John McAteer noted that, in many jurisdictions, privacy does not continue indefinitely after a person dies. ''In NSW, a person's information isn't personal if they have been dead for 30 years or more,'' he said. ''Rightly or wrongly, the government has said privacy continues after death--but only so far."
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