Not ironic at all.
It's anecdotal "evidence", the plural of which is empathically _not_ data, but it does paint an interesting picture. It might even serve as a useful reminder just what goes on "behind the scenes" of policymaking, here the gathering of the raw numbers on which a lot is based.
While I fully agree that gathering too much data is easily dangerous right down to deadly --for example, the Dutch government registered religion of all citizens prior to WWII so they could give each the proper burial, which helped the nazis no end with creating the need to hold more burials all right-- there is still the basic problem of policy making that needs *something* to go on.
"El reg" might generally like privacy but you can't always just take away the data and expect everything to be peachy. Though probably more often than is commonly believed, and where not well maybe we can change the process so it can make do with less data. We'll see. But the point is, it doesn't do to just close our eyes and hope the problems will go away.
The USoA government feels the need to hold a census. Fine. It's even in their constitution. Fine. So they ask more than they're supposed to. Not so fine. So they might or might not do shady things with all that data. Best look into it then.
But stick our heads in the sand? Not such a wonderful idea, sir.
Note that over on the right side of the pond, and not just Blighty, that sort of thing is pulled out of databases that the governments run anyway. You know, birth and death registers,but also the registers of who lives where and the like -- some of which carry right hefty penalties if you fail to register yourself within N days of moving in. In that respect rightpondian readers could easily think the USoAians to be whiny bitches about something relatively minor. "Who lives where". Big deal. But maybe not. Anyway, it is all too easy to overlook the sometimes stunningly big differences between the various nation states around.
This piece, though, is more about showing what it was like to gather that data, painting a picture that is different again from what you'll be able to read in the official numbers. That, too, is useful to consider.
And hey, even a well-written contrary opinion is can be a good read. If all you read is articles you agree with then that's very cute but you're doing it wrong.