Tuesday, January 17, 2017

If I was a conspiracy theorist...

... I 'd be suspicious of the following error made by the Ministry of Social Development.

The Ministry now publishes OIA responses. I was browsing through the topics and initially ignored these two:

Bryan Petter is unknown to me and I assumed the request concerned some personal matter.

Later, curiosity got the better of me and I took a look.

In fact, Bryan Petter is actually Bryan Perry, MSD's producer of the Household Incomes Report, the chief source of poverty and hardship statistics.

There is no way that the error is a mere typo. An extra letter has been added.

Then again, there is little point in trying to hide a release of documents that have been heavily redacted anyway.

Still, the matter leaves me curious ...


Mark Hubbard said...

It's not a conspiracy, Lindsay.

On my old blog I wrote a post about the ways IRS were mining social media for information (they're developing AI and neural just for that purpose): how did Kiwis feel about that? I then had IRD all through the logs for that post, and from that point on.

I don't like IRD reading my posts, especially in my job. I partly stopped that blog, and started my new arts blog, for that reason. Call it paranoia.

But then coming up to this Xmas my IRD account manager sent around a general informational email but with all respondents in CC not BCC. I didn't want to get her in trouble, she's nice, so I put a generalised quip up on Twitter about how of course IRD had no notion on dealing with privacy. I never hashed IRD into that tweet. IRD head office rang me the very next day about that tweet, despite they don't follow me on Twitter, so someone there keeps an eye on my Twitter timeline.

And that feels like living in East Berlin, frankly.

Mark Wahlberg said...

Watching us, thats scary. Maybe I should stop Googling how to make bombs.