NO ANSWERS: We're not getting much from the media team following the #CensusFail
NO ANSWERS: We're not getting much from the media team following the #CensusFail

All quiet on the Census front as ABS goes silent

WHAT was the impact of the Census debacle?

Not even the Australian Bureau of Statistics can say yet it appears.

A series of questions put to the Census media team to try and determine the impact of last week's epic, online failure has shed no light on the ramifications of the online attacks launched on data collected.

The Daily reported last week on the impacts of the external attacks on the mainframe which saw the online Census site shut down to preserve the security of the data.

Many had expressed concerns in the build-up to the Census about the collection and retention of names and addresses, particularly in terms of online security and whether the data could be protected.

The Bureau's line was that security would be maintained, confident in the security of the servers, until multiple attacks on the site were launched on Tuesday.

A week later and no response was provided when we asked what impact the attacks had.

Census media was unable to tell us how many responses had been received to-date, whether those had increased since the weekend or slowed down or how many paper copies of the Census had been requested after Tuesday night.

There was silence again when asked whether they were expecting a similar level of response from the nation to this year's survey, or whether they expected that level to be lower, in light of Tuesday's incidents.

A Census media spokesman said he couldn't get specific answers to our questions yet and said an update would be provided at a later date, a date which was also yet to be finalised.

It was made clear last week that fines would not be issued for anyone who didn't fill the Census out on August 9, but it's unclear whether fines could be issued for anyone who refuses to fill out the Census altogether after the September 18 (paper) and 25 (online) cut-off dates.

Census field officers will be deployed in the coming weeks to work with households who haven't filled out the national survey.

So, tell us what you've done? Have you filled out your Census following Tuesday's dramas or have you scrapped it altogether?

Here's the questions we submitted to the Census media team this morning:

Q: How many Census responses have come back to-date?

Q: Have you started to see an increase in those responses since the weekend or have they slowed down?

Q: How many paper copies have been requested following Tuesday night's incidents?

Q: Does the ABS expect a similar response level to previous Census surveys or does the Bureau expect this year's responses to be lower? What sort of response level is the ABS aiming for or expecting?