Author Topic: Mobile phone data to replace census?  (Read 1793 times)

Offline Gillg

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Mobile phone data to replace census?
« on: Tuesday 07 November 17 14:44 GMT (UK) »
There is a suggestion that information from mobile phones could be used to replace a census.  We already know that smartphones in particular allow businesses and "snoopers", including criminals, to track where and what their users are doing and to build up a picture of the lifestyle of these users.  I'm glad my only occasionally used old style mobile doesn't give away too much information (I hope).

How could information gathered in this way be as accurate as a questionnaire? (Yes, I know some answers on census forms are not strictly true. ::))  People who don't have a smartphone or seldom use their mobile could be excluded.  One example of misleading information would be to assume that where people are at night is their home address or during the day their place of work, thus excluding night shift workers or people having a day shopping or visiting their hairdresser's or something.

Seems like census information obtained in this way would be at best haphazard and at least misleading, and certainly would not form a basis upon which predictions about health, education or housing needs could be safely formed.

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/06/census-could-replaced-data-mobile-phones-track-people-live-work/     
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HURST, BOLTON,  BUTTERWORTH, ADAMSON, WILD, MCIVOR from Milnrow, Newhey, Oldham & Rochdale, Lancs.

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Offline Marmalady

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Re: Mobile phone data to replace census?
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 07 November 17 14:50 GMT (UK) »
I've not heard of that

I would be one of the ones missing
I don't have a smartphone and rarely use my "only makes phonecalls" mobile

I had heard somewhere that they are considering an online form rather than a paper form -- but again, some people might still be left off -- but most people have access to a computer somewhere in their life even if only at the local library
Wainwright - Yorkshire
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Northing - all

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Offline groom

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Re: Mobile phone data to replace census?
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 07 November 17 15:02 GMT (UK) »
I can't see that ever working, not if the government want reasonably correct details. I wonder what percentage of the population actually owns a smart phone? Looking at one set of statistics less than 20% of over 60s do.
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Offline Billyblue

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Re: Mobile phone data to replace census?
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 07 November 17 15:13 GMT (UK) »
I would be one of the ones missing
I don't have a smartphone and rarely use my "only makes phonecalls" mobile

I had heard somewhere that they are considering an online form rather than a paper form -- but again, some people might still be left off -- but most people have access to a computer somewhere in their life even if only at the local library
Same here, Marmalady, re the phone  :P  :P

The latest census here in Oz, people could do it online, and it was a bit of a debacle.
Site crashed because too many people left it to the last minute, and then couldn't get on.
According to the media, the government 'had not anticipated' the site might crash if everyone tried to use it at the one time !!!   ::)  ::)  ::)

Dawn M
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Offline JenB

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Re: Mobile phone data to replace census?
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 07 November 17 15:27 GMT (UK) »
What I can see of the article doesn't really seem to say that mobile phones could be used to replace a census.
It actually says
The plan is part of a Government-backed programme that could see the traditional questionnaire abandoned and other data sources, including phone records, used instead.
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Offline Rosinish

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Re: Mobile phone data to replace census?
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 07 November 17 15:31 GMT (UK) »
Count me as a 'missing' person where 'MOB' (My Own Business)  ;D is concerned!!!

I don't have a smart phone (I'm too smart)  :D

I seldom use my old Nokia or top it up (PAYG) for that matter.

I like my comp for my hobby (I will let folks guess what that is) :P as I like to see images & text in full without having to expand/scroll etc!

I also like to be able to type with both hands using the tips of my fingers...not my nails (to make sure I press the correct buttons).

This message has taken me very little time to type but if I was using a small/smart phone it would have taken me 10 times as long!!!

I joked not so long ago on a thread on here...

Future generations will be visiting Graveyards/Burial sites & Headstones/MIs will read like this...

Here lies the body of AM23ajwj2b (you get the meaning)... their DNA numbers  ;)

Annie
South Uist, Inverness-shire, Scotland:- Bowie, Campbell, Cumming, Currie, MacDonald, MacInnes, MacIntyre, MacKinnon, Steele, Walker

Ireland:- Cullen, Flannigan (Derry), Donahoe/Donaghue (variants) (Cork), McCrate (Tipperary), Mellon, Tol(l)and (Donegal & Tyrone)

Newcastle-on-Tyne/Durham (Northumberland):- Harrison, Jude, Kemp, Lunn, Mellon, Robson, Stirling

Kettering, Northampton:- MacKinnon

Canada:- Callaghan, MacKinnon, MacPhee

"OLD GENEALOGISTS NEVER DIE - THEY JUST LOSE THEIR CENSUS"

Offline Rosinish

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Re: Mobile phone data to replace census?
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 07 November 17 16:02 GMT (UK) »
The plan is part of a Government-backed programme that could see the traditional questionnaire abandoned and other data sources, including phone records, used instead.

Not sure that would work at all regarding phones?

I have my wee mob & a home phone but my calls (added together) using either/both in 1 month could equate to less than 10 calls outbound.

I seldom carry my mob phone either!

In the past I have visited friends who spent the entire time texting others to the point where I made my excuses & left as I find it somewhat boring having people read out their messages then reading out their replies...

I keep my Mob switched off (I only use it for emergencies), I don't answer my home phone unless I'm expecting a call or if the caller is leaving a message (answerphone), I will then answer if it's someone I wish to talk to.

I get so many unsolicited calls it's an intrusion i.e. I don't answer!

My answerphone is always full to capacity within 5 - 7 days with unanswered/unwanted calls with NO messages left (can't they take a hint)  ???

There's more chance of finding & contacting me on RC  ;D

Annie
South Uist, Inverness-shire, Scotland:- Bowie, Campbell, Cumming, Currie, MacDonald, MacInnes, MacIntyre, MacKinnon, Steele, Walker

Ireland:- Cullen, Flannigan (Derry), Donahoe/Donaghue (variants) (Cork), McCrate (Tipperary), Mellon, Tol(l)and (Donegal & Tyrone)

Newcastle-on-Tyne/Durham (Northumberland):- Harrison, Jude, Kemp, Lunn, Mellon, Robson, Stirling

Kettering, Northampton:- MacKinnon

Canada:- Callaghan, MacKinnon, MacPhee

"OLD GENEALOGISTS NEVER DIE - THEY JUST LOSE THEIR CENSUS"

Offline Mike in Cumbria

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Re: Mobile phone data to replace census?
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 07 November 17 16:16 GMT (UK) »
What I can see of the article doesn't really seem to say that mobile phones could be used to replace a census.
It actually says
The plan is part of a Government-backed programme that could see the traditional questionnaire abandoned and other data sources, including phone records, used instead.

Exactly - and it's not really news.  It's all part of the research into mining "big data", to extract useful information. For instance, gathering data on property ownership, value of housing across the country, size of house etc may be more efficiently gathered by mining Rightmove and Zoopla data than by asking people questions on a traditional census form.
Como le dijo el mosquito a la rana, "Mas vale morir en el vino que vivir en el agua"

Offline Rosinish

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Re: Mobile phone data to replace census?
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday 07 November 17 16:52 GMT (UK) »
I think I've missed something  :-\

What data could be collected via phone records  ???

Annie
South Uist, Inverness-shire, Scotland:- Bowie, Campbell, Cumming, Currie, MacDonald, MacInnes, MacIntyre, MacKinnon, Steele, Walker

Ireland:- Cullen, Flannigan (Derry), Donahoe/Donaghue (variants) (Cork), McCrate (Tipperary), Mellon, Tol(l)and (Donegal & Tyrone)

Newcastle-on-Tyne/Durham (Northumberland):- Harrison, Jude, Kemp, Lunn, Mellon, Robson, Stirling

Kettering, Northampton:- MacKinnon

Canada:- Callaghan, MacKinnon, MacPhee

"OLD GENEALOGISTS NEVER DIE - THEY JUST LOSE THEIR CENSUS"