Guernsey replaces census with electronic system

Guernsey's politicians have agreed to press ahead with plans to replace the traditional census with a rolling electronic one.

Deputies voted 25-21 for the system that will use data from government departments, utility companies and doctors surgeries.

The next traditional census, due in 2011, has been cancelled.

The projected cost of it was £600,000, which is expected to equal the bill for setting up the electronic system.

The Policy Council said the running costs of £60,000 a year would be absorbed by any savings made by avoiding duplication across States departments.

The system is due to record the name, age, address and sex of every islander.

In answer to some of the concerns raised about data protection Chief Minister Lyndon Trott said: "This information is provided by us all every time we fill in any type of form in our day-to-day lives. There is no 'big brother' database."

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