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Plans to stress test census equipment in Belarus this week

Society 11.09.2019 | 14:27
Inna Medvedeva
Inna Medvedeva

MINSK, 11 September (BelTA) – A stress performance test of the software and all the hardware that will handle the forthcoming population census will begin this week, BelTA learned from Chairwoman of the National Statistics Committee of Belarus Inna Medvedeva on 11 September.

They are nearly done testing how tablets work in the course of a population census. “Tablets will be handed out to census takers on 17 September when their training begins. We are going to arrange an additional test of the equipment to check how it can handle peak workload. We want the equipment to handle everything we can throw at it. As for the online census option, we intend to start a larger test on Thursday. A predeployment test is in progress now. We are closely working with the developer on it. We expect final increased workload this Thursday,” the official said.

All the people employed by the state statistics service will help test the system. The interbank personal identification system will become involved as well. The capability of the servers, which will receive and process all the data, will be verified.

A lot of attention is paid to data security. Irina Ignatovich, Deputy Head of the Operations Office, Head of the Interbank Identification and Blockchain Department at OAO Non-Banking Credit and Finance Organization ERIP, said that data will be encrypted and transferred via secure channels to servers of the National Statistics Committee. Deputy Chairwoman of the National Statistics Committee Zhanna Vasilevskaya assured that all the data the committee will receive will include only general information such as first name, last name, patronymic, year and place of birth. The state statistics service (and other users) will not be able to access other kinds of information. The census data will be stored in an isolated area at premises of the National Statistics Committee. Only a limited number of people will be able to access the servers.

A population census is scheduled to take place in Belarus on 4-30 October 2019. The previous census took place ten years ago. Belarusians will have to answer 49 questions, including questions about their main demographic, national, and ethnic characteristics, migration activity, education, sources of subsistence, employment, the number of kids, housing conditions, and economic activities.

Belarusians will be able to answer the questions either independently by filling in census forms online or by personally going to population census stations or by welcoming census takers in their homes.

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