Information is a very valuable commodity and it is traded on a daily basis. The degree of information demanded by the CSO in the Irish Census ’22 form classifies it as a highly valuable commodity. If you think the information you provide sits in some file gathering dust and cobwebs you are greatly mistaken. If you think it is used strictly for government statistical analysis you are also greatly mistaken. Look at the questions again on the census 2022 form and you will see that they go way beyond any normal statistical requirements.
Your Private and Personal Information
The information demanded on the census form is your information and some of it is very personal and private. If you were to sell such information or if somebody else was to sell it once they had acquired it, it would fetch a high price. If somebody wants you to part with your valuable information they should be prepared to pay the commercial going rate for it. Who is to decide such a rate? Only you can make that determination since it is your property, your information. Nobody has a right to demand your information, your property no matter what any Act including The Statistics Act, 1993 says. The problem for the “Act” is that it cannot intrude into the ‘private’ without your contractual consent to do so.
I am not suggesting that you refuse to give away for nothing all of your valuable private information on the ’22 census form. No, not at all. I am suggesting that you agree to contract with them to give them all this valuable information for a consideration… a price. I don’t know how much you are willing to enter into contract to sell your information for. That’s entirely your decision. I know that for me to contract to sell my information will start at €10,000 and the same amount for each member of my household. I wouldn’t want to short change them.
The census website says that the results ‘are widely used across all sectors of society’. They tell us that the census information we provide gives vital information to help plan for services such as health, education, transport, childcare and care for the elderly in our communities now and in the future. The questions asked go far beyond those requirements. You may not need to know what agenda is behind those intrusive questions but you are entitled to a fair price for them. I am beginning to think that €10,000 is far too low for mine and your personal information.
Nanny State Nosiness
The census has become a highly invasive and unwarranted probe into people’s lives and personal privacy. That was a complaint about the 2011 census. Well if it was invasive then it takes invasiveness to a whole new level in 2022.
There are a whopping 38 questions for each person per household including detailed financial questions such as how much rent you pay. They want to know if you have a mortgage or loans, your level of education, your exact qualification; the number of rooms in your dwelling; modes of and uses of transport and even private medical information. It is a most intrusive snooping exercise that goes way beyond the bounds of acceptability. It smacks of a nanny states overreaching sense of entitlement.
Census Enumerator Inquisitors
Not alone do they demand that the form has to be filled out, an outrageous cross-examination in violation of all your privacy rights takes place on the answers supplied… on the doorstep.
The census is nothing other than an outrageous communist-style investigation into people’s lives complete with bar codes. The census should be kept to a head count only and not an intrusive inquest of a person’s affairs.
The census is carried out by over 5,000 Census Enumerators employed by the Central Statistics Office. They will deliver and collect census forms all over the country between March and May. Each of them will have approximately 400 homes to call to and forms to deal with. The government or CSO Census Enumerator will be wearing a high viz census vest and will carry an ID badge. Please ask to see their ID. They are available to answer any questions that you may have.
The census website says “Everyone of us is legally obliged to complete or be included on a census form”.
- The Statistics Act, 1993 is the basic legislation covering all surveys carried out by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), including the census. Section 25 of the Act enables the Taoiseach to make Orders (Statutory Instruments) requiring people to provide information under the Act.
- Sections 26 and 27 of the Act provide for the Director General of the CSO to require people to complete and return a form following the making of such an Order by the Taoiseach.
- The Statistics (Census of Population) Order, 2020 provides for the census to be held on 3 April 2022. It details the information to be provided and the persons required to provide it.
- The Constitution of Ireland (Article 16.2) provides that the membership of Dáil Éireann depends on the population as measured by the census.
- As an EU Member State, Ireland is obliged to conduct a regular census of its population, as set out in Regulation (EC) No. 763/2008. There are also specific regulations relating to this census – Regulation 2017/543 and Regulation 2017/712.
A lot of people are appalled at the intrusive nature of the census form and say they won’t fill it out. Richard Grogan reputedly a top Irish solicitor on his explained on his TikTok channel: “People are contacting me saying they don’t want to fill out the Census form. Well, if you don’t want to fill it out and you choose not to fill it out, then you can be prosecuted. And the Government do prosecute.” He goes on to say “That’s the law and that’s a fact.” Now, where have I heard something like that before? Oh yes! “Pay your TV license. It’s the law.” RTE keeps driving that message at those who still listen to RTE. It’s complicated but it’s not quite true and it is in violation of EU law.
In the original act for the Census, it states that everybody present in the country on Census Night must be included, under the Statistics Act of 1993.
The 1993 act reads: “A person guilty of an offence under any provision of this Act shall be liable to:
(a) on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €1,000, or
(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding €20,000.
Private and Personal Information Release Contract
Any information required by anybody including the government, its agencies or agents of a personal, private and confidential nature is outside the remit of any Act or Statute including the Statistics Act of 1993. Not having entered into any such contractual obligation at any time to supersede my personal and my fundamental family rights to privacy I am not subject to any obligation or requirement to do so.
However I am prepared to enter into a one time, one off waver of those fundamental and constitutional rights and I am prepared to provide said information to the questions in the 2022 Irish census form.
My contractual charge for this information is €1,000 per question or €38,000 in total for answering in full or in part to the best of my knowledge and ability all 38 questions. My fee for the administration and completion of this contract is €10,000. The entire amount of €48,000 is payable in advance of me entering into any such contract.
The same schedule of charges is due for any additional persons that may be in my household at the time of the administrative process of completing the census form.
The acceptance of the census form and the contractual agreement to fill it as per stated on the document can only be completed on the twice witnessed signature of the enumerator together with the initial payment of €48,000 in cash and with the agreement to the payment of the amounts of €38,000 for each additional person who may be in my residence and therefore included on the form at the appointed time of the completion of the census form.
Amount submitted and verified in cash___________________________________________________________
Date of Contract_________________________________________________