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

Maple Ridge chef tops in B.C. for agriculture in the classroom

Chef Brian Smith named the B.C. Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year

Flames drop to eighth in PJHL

Ridge loses two games over the weekend

Man known to frequent Maple Ridge wanted by Langley RCMP

An arrest warrant is out for Bryce Telford for allegedly impersonating a police officer

New Maple Ridge council has old problem: Albion flats

Staff asking for politicians to decide direction

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

B.C. hospital apologizes for veteran’s five-day hallway stay

Clinical director of Victoria General Hospital says case of retired veteran ‘definitely excessive’

Speaker Darryl Plecas says ‘justice’ needed for legislature employees

Plecas spoke to media at the opening of a pedestrian and cycling bridge in Abbotsford Wednesday

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

‘Dr. Lipjob’ avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

47 men arrested by Vancouver police for allegedly seeking sex with teenage girls

Seven of those arrested have been charged as part of a two-month operation

Surrey farmers taking stock of revamped Canada Food Guide

Products that were once big at the table — like meat and dairy — have been put on the back-burner

Surrey Pretrial inmate lodges human rights complaint for not being fed kosher food

Inmate claims denial of her request for kosher diet violates Section 8 of the Human Rights Code

Most Read