ABS Issues Apology For Word ‘Bumsex’ On Gay Marriage Vote
Recently it was reported that many of the postal vote forms relating to gay marriage had something it shouldn’t have on the barcode.
On the barcode, Aussies noticed that where randomly selected numbers and letters appeared, ‘bumsex’ was spelled out.
Jess Wheeler posted a photo of the barcode to twitter, with the caption, ‘I don’t think you guys are taking this thing seriously’.
With up to 15 million people voting on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to get married, it was unclear how many people were issued the inappropriate barcode.
According to The Sunday Telegraph, Jonathan Palmer, deputy statistician for the Australian Bureau of Statistics, apologised for the error saying:
‘The ABS acknowledges that in issuing 16 million barcodes it did not check and remove words and phrases that may be offensive.
The ABS apologises to the survey recipient and will issues a new form if requested.
The codes were issued using an algorithm generating more than two quintillion combinations of letters and numbers in order to generate highly secure barcodes.
The ABS will check newly issues barcodes.’
Palmer also urged Australians not to compromise their privacy and security of their response by publicly displaying the barcode.