I think we need to expand the word 'privacy'. It means many things.
When I'm at home with the blinds drawn, I expect that nobody will know what I am doing there. That kind of privacy is important to me -- and guess what, I still have it. The government has made very few inroads on that kind of privacy.
But as for my personal information? Take it. As long as nothing illegal is done with it (identity theft is a different concern), then I don't care. The labels that the government put on my race, sexual orientation, and political affiliation don't mean anything to me, and my address is already a public record. If I allow *anyone* to know those things, then I don't mind the government knowing them also.
I guess I feel as if I still have the ability to determine which information about myself I want to release. And that's all I ask. Now, if it gets to the point that they demand to know information I do not want to give -- such as a DNA sample -- then we have a problem. But it hasn't reached that point yet. The census questions were so generic, and it was clear that I could choose not to answer many of them (such as race), that I just didn't feel threatened by it at all.
Yeah, we did a lot of crazy things in the 40's. Misuse of census data, treatment of japanese americans, tuskegee airmen.
What the @ssholes who are spouting this propaganda forget is there ARE privacy laws in place to prevent misuse of data.
It IS illegal to do now in ways it WASN'T then.