Chief statistician for Canada, Anil Arora. The agency Statistics Canada has come under fire for plans to gather personal financial information on 500,000 citizens. (CBC-Power and Politics)

Statistics Canada pauses data collection on citizens finances over privacy concerns


Statistics Canada is the federal agency responsible for collecting statistics on all aspects of Canadian life.

When it was learned the agency was beginning to collect personal banking information on 500,000 citizens, there was an outcry over invasion of privacy.

The agency’s pilot project has now been put on hold while the plan is investigated by the federal privacy commissioner.

Federal Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien has criticised the Stats Can pilot project and has launched an investigation into it. (The Canadian Press)

The data collection project was disclosed by Global News in November by which point the agency had already begun to collect 15 years of personal credit information from TransUnion, a major international credit bureau.  The plan was also to gather personal financial information from nine banks and financial institutions on things like personal account balances and credit card payments.

The plan which was to expand information collection was to begin in January 2019.  The announcement of the delay did not specify if the project would restart following the privacy commision’s investigation, or if it would be modified to ensure indentification of individuals connected to the data would be stripped.  For the present Statistics Canada has also stopped data collection from TransUnion.

Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien has criticised Statistics Canada for a lack of transparency about their plans and methods both with his office and with Canadians.

Chief statistician Anil Arora has said his agency won’t stop seeking new ways to gather data as Canadians are becoming more reluctant to answer traditional telephone surveys and amid a growing public distrust of government institutions and experts.

Additional information-sources

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in Economy, Internet, Science and Technology, Politics, Society

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.


One comment on “Statistics Canada pauses data collection on citizens finances over privacy concerns
  1. Connie Sachs says:

    Stats Canada recently mailed me a a notice telling me to go on-line and answer a questionaire. A friend of mine received 3 notices before complying. (stats can threatend to come to his address) I did not comply. The letter sent to me says it is collecting data for “tourism”. My friend said that one question asked was about his sexuality! Kitchener ON