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Impact of Technology in Australians' Lives Essay

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From invitro fertilisation to autopsy, people’s lives in Australia are potentially subject to scrutiny. The extent to which details of a particular individual’s existence are on show depends not just on the person’s own decisions but also on the decisions of related others, private firms and the state as well as inadvertent access by technology. This essay examines several points in people’s lives where they are most likely to encounter the public gaze, either now or into the future. Specifically, these junctures are the Census, The 100 point ID system and the lens of telepanoramic digital photography.

Every five years, the Census provides a snapshot of Australian households. The data collected forms the basis of public planning. (How to complete your Census form 2006, p.2) On the night of August the 8th 2006, Australian households undertook the latest census. The form could be completed in either hard copy or online. Of particular interest was Question 60, Time capsule, which invited households to have a copy of their responses to the Census identified by their names in microfilm format for future reference. This information will be held in secure storage by the National Archives of Australia for 99 years when it will be made available to ‘genealogists …, historians, academics, social analysts, journalists, and fiction and non-fiction writers’. This option was first made available at the previous Census held in 2001 (How to complete your Census form 2006, p.17).

This opportunity was welcomed by genealogists, who have long envied their British counterparts historic and full access to census data from 1841 onwards. Indeed, the 1901 census has recently been made available (Census Online 2006). In the Australian case however, t...


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...to complete your census form 2006 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra.

The metroguide: a guide to Adelaide’s public transport system n.d. Adelaide Metro, Adelaide.

Murray, E 2006 ‘Jail for “greedy” con woman’, The Age, September 22. Viewed 19th of October 2006

Norris, M 2006 ‘I caught our most-wanted con woman’, Woman’s Day, October 2006, pp.34-35.

Privacy on the Internet: Effect on genealogy n.d. Viewed 12 October 2006

Tadros, E & Petrie, A 2006 ‘Moment of truth in the many lives of Jodie’, The Sydney Morning Herald, July 7. Viewed 19th of October 2006

Whittaker, N 1998 Controlling your credit cards, Simon & Schuster, East Roseville.


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