Chief Statistician Anil Arora defended plans to obtain Canadians’ detailed banking information.

Chief Statistician Anil Arora defended plans to obtain Canadians’ detailed banking information.

News Views: Ask first

‘Traditional statistical gathering methods are no longer sufficient.’

Federal privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien will investigate Statistics Canada’s request to obtain private banking records on 500,000 Canadians.

His office has consulted with Statscan about its pilot project to collect raw, non-anonymized data from private companies, but will continue discussions in a formal investigation.

This followed numerous complaints to his office about the agency’s effort to gather unprecedented, detailed information on transactions held by Canadian financial institutions, from cash-machine withdrawals to credit-card payments and account balances, even phone records, electricity bills and social insurance numbers.

Chief Statistician Anil Arora defended plans to obtain Canadians’ detailed banking information. He said traditional statistical gathering methods are no longer sufficient, given that three quarters of purchases are now conducted online, to accurately measure Canada’s economy and social changes.

StatsCan would do the work of removing individual names, and claims to have a long history of protecting personal information.

Private companies – including banks, retailers and cell phone companies – are already collecting large volumes of data on Canadians, and some of it is already shared with Statscan, which can compel them to do so.

That may be true, but why not consult Canadians first, tell us what for?

Before, if we didn’t want to take part in a Statscan survey, it was our choice, to keep personal information private. But Canadians have no say here, and that is a concern, as is the level of information being sought. We believe in the value of data, but also that of privacy and consent.

– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lisa Beare, the MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, was sworn in as a member of cabinet on Thursday, Nov. 26. (Special to The News)
MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows has a new cabinet position

Lisa Beare is the new Minister of Citizen’s Services

Email your cooking questions to Chef Dez at dez@chefdez.com.
ON COOKING: Mulligatawny is tough to spell but a tasty soup

Chef Dez offers up his version of a classic soup

Emma Davison, one half of Golden Ears Cheesecrafters in Maple Ridge, reflects on running her business in the year of COVID-19. (Scott Saunders/Special to The News)
OUTLOOK: Buying local imperative to agriculture businesses

Farmgate companies adapt to survive during early months of pandemic

Natasha Brayshaw’s acrylic on paper called Snowy Magic. (Vicuña Art Studio/Special to The News)
Representatives of MK Illumination light up Memorial Peace Park on Wednesday. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)
Maple Ridge decorating for Christmas

Lights and decorations going up in the downtown

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

A new ‘soft reporting’ room is opening inside the Ann Davis Transition Society offices on Dec. 1, 2020 which is thought to be the first of its kind in B.C. (Ann Davis Transitional Society/ Facebook)
New ‘trauma-informed’ reporting room opening next week in Chilliwack

It’s a space for reporting domestic violence, sexual assault, or gender-based violence to police

The corporate headquarters of Pfizer Canada are seen in Montreal, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The chief medical adviser at Health Canada says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could be approved in Canada next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Health Canada expects first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved next month

Canada has a purchase deal to buy at least 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine,

Most Read