> It's a mess that the ABS created for itself.
> It takes a lot to make me say “security is now no longer the primary consideration”, but that's what the ABS has achieved.
The first statement is true. Their steadfast refusal to describe in concrete terms what their security arrangements are is bewildering, given the importance the place on getting accurate data. I suspect they haven't cottoned on to the citizens becoming accustomed to instant fact checking, so we where before we were happy to make do with assurances from people in power we now expect to be able to verify what they say. The ABS thinks it can get away without providing that verification, as they have done in the past.
The second para is a bit of a stretch given the first one. If you take what they have said, stitch it together (it's strewn across a wide variety of web pages), and then fill in the blanks in a positive way, you end up with a fairly secure arrangement. Well as secure as it can be given ultimately it's all down to the whim of a minister. It isn't overly different security wise to what they did in the previous census.
For now I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt and calling this a public relations disaster, caused by old men not realising people expect a greater level of transparency now we have the internet. Not only that, the same internet has given them a voice to complain loudly and widely if that transparency isn't delivered, allowing them to chip away at the trust the ABS needs from the populace to do it's job well.
They don't really have a choice here - the problem is this is a new thing, and they haven't figured this our for themselves yet.