Power to the population? The population census under review

Lynn Killick ACTIS 2015 badgeIn November 2015 Lynn Killick, who works with me within the Centre for Social Informatics, presented some preliminary results from her doctoral study at the Asian Conference on Technology, Information and Society (ACTIS) 2015. Lynn’s AHRC-funded PhD is entitled An investigation into the population census as a tool for building the good society: policy, ethics and social informatics. Its focus is the future of the population census, and its role in informing the good society.

Lynn took the opportunity at the conference in Japan to discuss with an international audience public attitudes to the proposed developments to the UK census. These include, for example, the sharing of data by government agencies about individuals without explicit consent, and the use of private companies to process the data collected. A key question is how decisions on changes to the census are made, and who holds the power here: is it those with responsibility for the collection and processing of the data, or members of the population that these data describe? Lynn’s presentation was informed by an analysis of survey data collected from members of the general population in the course of her research.

The proceedings of ACTIS2015 have just been published online. Lynn’s full paper can be downloaded from pages 27-34 of this publication. Its full citation is:

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