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

Just Posted

Halloween Howl to kick off festivities in Maple Ridge

Norman Foote concert with Yennadon elementary choir

Angel highlights the benefits of volunteerism at Ridge Meadows Hospital

Yvonne and John McDonald are nine-year volunteers at the hospital

Celebrate the salmon’s return in Maple Ridge

Return of the Salmon put on by KEEPS

UNTRENDING: Preparing kids for a digital life

Entrepreneur, speaker, and columnist Vicki McLeod offers some insight into children and cyberspace

Supercars in Pitt Meadows for Aidan’s Cup

Event raises $40,000 for Children’s Wish Foundation

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Man killed in Richmond had ‘no record of criminality,’ IHIT says

Stephen Chong, 58, was found dead in his business

Pot legalization has gone ‘well’, but ‘yellow flags’ on vaping: task force chair

Canada legalized cannabis for non-medical use on Oct. 17, 2018,

Most Read