Is the census anonymous?

Published: Monday, 01 August 2022

An item in the Boaters Update mentions CaRT sending out an anonymous census. writes John Coxon.

Who are they kidding? How many times are we told to look out for scams so when I read something like this I look for ulterior motives and this one is ringing alarm bells—very loud alarm bells.

Canal & River Trust tells:

'We will be sending a unique e-link to the Boater Census to every boat licence holder who has provided an email/or mobile phone number. This will be sent out in phases during August. All answers will be anonymous and cannot be linked to individuals or boats.

Boaters are encouraged to complete the census survey by 30th September 2022, and we will send out reminders ahead of the census email'.

Do not believe them!

I do not believe them! If it was totally anonymous why would I be sent a unique e-link that identifies me as someone who has or has not filled it in so they can send me a reminder?

That says to me it's about as anonymous as a general/local election, they know who you are and how you voted because they put your id number on your vote sheet!

They send you your unique code, you put it in to access the census, they know who you are.

Can target you

Once they get you to fill in this 'census' and send it to them you've given them personal/private info that could enable them to target you as individuals in ways they want that might not be in your best interests or even worse!

CaRT, in my experience, do not have boaters best, or any other, interests at heart and I for one will not be filling in any census/form/survey from them until they prove to have boaters best interests at heart and filling it in could be seen to be beneficial to me!

Take heed, look before you leap with this one, it smells fishy! It's about as convincing as all the other benefits they come up with for boaters like insect corridors along the edge of the waterway (to save hedge cutting), improved towpath surfaces for cyclists, reduced facilities at services and full and complete winter works programmes...etc, etc...