Every little helps, but Tesco say no to the UK Census

9 March 2011

Bitterwallet - tesco logoIf you're working your way through the epic epicness that is the 2011 Census (and all the oddities that lay in wait between its pages), then you'll be discovering just how much the government wants to know about you. It doesn't stop there, however - the powers that be have been approaching major consumer brands and attempting to get hold of their customer records.

Marketing recently revealed that over a dozen retail, banking and utilities brands had been in talks with government officials about access to consumer information. Now Tesco has told the magazine that it has refused to comply with a request to hand over the personal data attached to its Clubcard scheme, and will refuse all further requests.

The government wants access to brands' customer data to overhaul the census and cut costs from the current projected outlay of £500m. Tesco said: 'One of the key reasons our customers trust Clubcard is because they know Tesco would never compromise on the promise we make them. There's no wriggle room, we just don't break that promise. To do so would be to jeopardise not only customers' trust, but also the success of the scheme.'

We expect some companies to leak personal data like a sieve; we expect to find ourselves occasionally receiving spam from mailing lists we don't recall subscribing to; but there's something vaguely Orwellian about the government asking these companies to pass on our personal data. When does the Census become an invasion of privacy?


TOPICS:   Government


  • Dick
    Or, in other words, they are not proposing to pay us enough for your data.
  • Alexis
    Tesco are right. Anyway, surely it would cost more to correlate information compiled from all sorts of private companies??? Sending out a letter to every single household and using a computer to scan in the replies seems the cheapest way of doing it to me.
  • w0nKeY h.
    "Tesco are right." Not something you hear everyday.
  • PFC H.
    The Census is ALREADY an invasion of privacy.
  • Kevin
    It's different sorts of data that isn't needed for 'census' reasons, although could quite easily be very useful for other normnal governmental uses. I think the census connection doesn't exist, it just so happens to be an easy story. PFC Hudson. Don't fill it out then. Stand your ground. Don't worry about the fines. Stand up for your rights. Oh wait you don't actually have any, this is a governmental document and therefore accepted internationally as a document that citizens should be filling out. Sorry.
  • brian
    filled it online and it was dead easy and quick. forget the paper one online skips all the irrelevant questions and is alot easier.
  • Delenn
    1. Well done Tesco. Never thought I'd say that in public. 2. The census is a big invasion of privacy. If it was a commercial questionnaire, it would already be in the bin. Quite obviously, it goes much further than a census should, but we have no choice but to fill it in.
  • warwick h.
    The Govt is the Govt it can do anything it wants if it needs to and that includes demanding the data from Tesco and anyone else. a simple change of law will sort them out. Never underestimate how much power a Govt has or in the case of Egypt, Tunisia & Libya how little. Reagrds. Tony B.
  • 1
    They can't do whatever they want but it helps them that you believe that.
  • DAVE
    Put bits of all your replies together & we'd have something useable. We elect the government. Therefore they are answerable to us. For a few to have power over the many then we have to give them permission to. Put 'No Contract Return to sender' on the census envelope & return it unopened. Then google 'Freeman on the land' if you care about our future. Dave
  • tesco u.
    You really make it seem really easy with your presentation however I find this matter to be actually something that I believe I would by no means understand. It seems too complicated and very extensive for me. I'm taking a look ahead for your next submit, I?ll attempt to get the hold of it!
  • electric r.
    I will right away grasp your rss feed as I can not find your email subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you've any? Please permit me realize so that I may subscribe. Thanks.

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