So you’ve heard about the Census. And #CensusFail. What about #CensusFail2016? Are you angry? Confused? Here are the three big changes that have got privacy advocates up in arms.

Firstly, IT’S ONLINE: Many Australians are getting access to the web-based Census form for the very first time. The concern is a little more nuanced than,  “The Internet is Scary,” and we’ll go into that later.

Secondly, you will be named. It’s compulsory to provide your name, which is then tied to your address… And the plethora of personal details you provide within the census.

Thirdly, the data retention period has been extended from 18 months to 4 years.

We can’t speak to the government’s intentions for the latter two… But we can definitely help clarify the first.

Let’s start with an old truism:

We’re scared of things we don’t understand. So, we hope this helps calm your anxieties a bit.

In the census, your data will be protected by a 128-bit TSL. Little reassurance to the vast majority of the population, who have absolutely no clue as to what that means.

Geek pop knowledge of such 128-bit encryption will tell you that it is almost unbreakable, and would take millions of years to crack it via brute force. The average Australian would reasonably consider that safe enough to bank on…. Literally. Most banks use either 128-bit or 256-bit to encrypt your transaction details. And there are work-arounds and supercomputers deep within the mythological fabric of the electronic universe who can probably crack it.

Ok, so it’s likely safer than sending it via mail, as seriously anyone could break into your house before you post off the form, steal it, and have intimate knowledge of your life. Or someone could ram a post box with their car and steal all the contents (please don’t get any ideas, guys). It’s also $100 million cheaper than a paper-based Census, which was likely a huge factor in bringing the whole thing online.

If you’re a business, and you didn’t know this information about encryption, speaking with a digital specialist is your next course of action. How well is your data encrypted? Could you move on from paper-based forms, saving money and security leaks in the process? For a business to build a reputable profile these days, it’s not just possible, it’s required.

You can be sure that as the need for security grows, so will the security measures. And knowing about it never hurts.

Keep up to date with that web geek-ery, and know what you need to keep your data safe! Sign up to Dando’s updates, and get it straight to your inbox!

 

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