Privacy concerns may hurt nationwide census

08:44, July 26, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Even with a tremendous amount of manpower and funds, the upcoming nationwide census in China will still face challenges getting real population data, demographics officials and experts said.

The sixth nationwide census will start in November and finish in June 2012. Over six million census takers and nearly 700 million yuan ($103 million) from the central government will be put into the census, according to the latest report from Outlook Weekly.

However, increasing concern for privacy protection, as well as a rapidly growing migrant population in cities, will make it difficult to gather accurate information about the population, Gu Yanzhou, deputy director of the Beijing statistic bureau was quoted as saying by the report.

More and more people are unwilling to reveal personal information due to increasing concerns over privacy and safety consciousness, he said.

"Especially in those top-flight communities with many foreigners and famous people, not all the residents will patiently give every detail of their lives to strangers, such as how many bedrooms and bathrooms are in their apartments, which will all be asked during the census," he said.

Another difficulty is for the great number of migrant workers moving into cities in recent years.

By the end of 2009, there were more than 17.5 million permanent residents in Beijing, among which more than 5 million were from other areas, according to official figures released on June.

"As the places where they are registered and where they live are not the same, and since many people cannot always be tracked down, it is hard to do a census for the floating population," Gu said.

Also, unregistered births will make it difficult for the census to offer real population figures, he said.

It is not uncommon to hear stories of parents not registering their babies' births to avoid punishment under China's family planning laws.

Public security departments have tried to dispel people's worries, promising to help register all births without punitive measures.

Duan Chengrong, a demographics professor with Renmin University of China, said the most important goal of the census is to get an accurate picture of the local population for policy makers.

"For instance, based on the census statistics, local government plans the locations of hospitals, schools, and bus and subway stations to satisfy the public needs," he said.

Duan said local residents do not need to worry about the census revealing their personal information, as all the information can be used only for the population census.

"The government should take more efforts to win over people's confidence, such as signing privacy agreements," he said.

Source:China Daily

(Editor:梁军)

  • Do you have anything to say?

双语词典
dictionary

  
Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • A Long March-2FT1 carrier rocket loaded with Tiangong-1 unmanned space lab module blasts off from the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, Sept. 29, 2011. Commander-in-chief of China's manned space program Chang Wanquan announced Thursday night that the launch of Tiangong-1 space lab module was successful. (Xinhua/Wang Jianmin)
  • Chinese President Hu Jintao watches the launch of Tiangong-1 space lab module at Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 29, 2011. Other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, including Wu Bangguo, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang and Zhou Yongkang, are also present. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)
  • The graphics shows the launch procedures of the carrier rocket of Tiangong-1 space lab module, Long March-2FT1 on Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua/Lu Zhe)
  • Image taken from Beijing Aerospace Control Center shows a Long March-2FT1 carrier rocket loaded with Tiangong-1 unmanned space lab module blasting off from the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua)
  • On Sept. 28, tourists travel around the Mingshashan Scenic Area in Dunhuang, Gansu province by camel. With the National Day vacation right around the corner, more and more tourists from home and abroad are going to Dunhuang. Riding on a camel, they travel in the desert to enjoy the cities rare form of natural scenery. (Xinhua/Zhang Weixian)
  • Chinese forest armed forces work together with forest firefighters on Sept. 28. (Xinhua/Chai Liren)
Hot Forum Discussion