The Internet Knows So Much About Us it Could Replace the National Census

By Gary Cutlack on at

All that personal data we're continuously spewing out there onto the internet is so deep and plentiful that the government's looking at plans to use it to map the country, binning the traditional once-a-decade national census in the process.

The new plan from the Office for National Statistics would see a system pulling in data from search engines, the NHS, HMRC, school rolls and benefits agencies, and would also rather controversially pull in stats from private companies such as Tesco, Thames Water, electricity suppliers and pretty much any company that demands you it it your name and address.

The last UK census was conducted in 2011 and cost just short of £500m to organise. If the government can do it by ripping data off the internet and by buying it in in bulk instead, it'd save the taxpayers stacks of cash. As long as it doesn't look too much like they're spying on us without consent. [Telegraph]