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