TECH

Google Could Replace The National Census If New Cost-Cutting Measures Go Ahead

26/06/2013 11:34 BST | Updated 26/06/2013 13:58 BST

Not content with using secret spying programmes to monitor our internet activities, the government is now considering replacing the Census with Google.

A paper titled 'Beyond 2011' has been written to examine ways to cut down the costs of gathering the decennial survey of British citizens.

The last census in 2011 cost nearly half a billion pounds and managed to miss out 3.5 million people - hardly comprehensive or cheap.

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The suggestion is likely to raise a number of privacy issues

One of the cost-cutting options on the table is to use data collected by search engines on people's locations, hobbies and movements to supplement 'administrative' information gathered from the NHS, tax records and other public sources.

Such a move would be highly controversial.

Many would balk at giving Google more access or responsibility with people's data especially after the revelations that its 'Street View' cars data from people's private wi-fi networks.

Despite the proposition there have been no meetings or talks between Google and the government over the issue.

The census was introduced in 1801 and has taken place every ten years apart from in 1941 due to World War II.