The 2016 census has left much to be desired as it was plagued by data privacy compromises, website crashes, a cyber attack and lack of easy access for all Australian voters.
The issues are so troubling that the Australian government is currently deciding what action it might take against IBM who failed to secure the technological highway of information that the $470 million census relied on for accurate and uncompromising completion.
Last weeks survey blunders have left many of the most prominent Greek-Australian federal MPs to question the fumbling of the census and demand a Senate inquiry open to public scrutiny as the only remedy to the issues at hand.
Independent Senator Nick Xenophon spoke to reporters at a press conference about his skepticism of the amount of preparation and thoroughness of the ABS’s current program.
He stated that there were over 4 million people unable to access the internet from home to complete the census online and that ABS has reduced arrangements for providing paper forms to “a debacle.” Xenophon’s concern is that these short-comings will impact the elderly and Australians from ethic communities most, making the census’ conclusions inaccurate.
After cyber attacks on the platform from overseas were confirmed on Tuesday, Xenophon added:
“The ABS says the names and addresses will be ‘coded’ to preserve anonymity. But that assurance, excuse the language, is crap,” he said, adding that “with some basic reverse engineering, your name and address can easily be worked out unless of course a hacker works it out first.”
Also onboard with having further inquiries into the census failures is Labor Party’s Maria Vamvakinou.
“We need to review the decisions that have been taken by the ABS over a long period; it’s a highly respected bureaucracy and for the first time in its history its integrity has been compromised,” Vamvakinou said to Neos Kosmos.
She further expressed concerns regarding ABS’ claim that the data recorded up until the cut-off date of September 23 would be a reliable source to base future planning.
“If you don’t have accurate data, I don’t see how you can implement social policy, how you can budget for services, and how you can plan 50 years forward. We need that information to guide where we need to spend public finances,” Vamvakinou said.