Stat Canada – Misusing our trust

Open Media is a trusted source for underhanded things our government and large companies get involved in. Currently, the privacy commissioner is investigating Stat Canada for the below privacy crimes:

Hundreds of thousands of people in Canada face having their personal banking information taken by Statistics Canada – including account balances, ATM withdrawals and credit card payments – without being notified or being asked to give consent.1 Since thousands of us spoke out, these plans have been put on hold – but we need to take action to reform privacy laws to stop this from coming back.

The Privacy Act, the set of rules that protect our personal information from the government, is extremely out of date. Message your MP to demand they take action to update the Privacy Act, and protect our sensitive data. If you can, please personalize your letter to give it more impact.

I’m all for having a database, it’s just logical, it would have to be better protected in my opinion but eventually we all know it’s gonna happen. My problem with this is that they’ve actually been collecting this data without our consent for years.

Please see below link for petition (Copy of petition is beneath link), or comment with how you think this violation of privacy should be dealt with!

Dear [recipient name will go here],

As your constituent, I am writing to you with concerns about the privacy violations proposed by Statistics Canada, in its proposal to collect the personal banking information of 500,000 Canadians – without our consent.

Maintaining robust and accurate data about our country is critical for the government to make informed decisions. But getting consent from people prior to collecting their sensitive banking data is no barrier to robust data collection. In fact, Statistics Canada has always relied on consent, and should continue to do so as it moves into the digital age [and begins to leverage data collected by service providers like banks and Internet companies].

We simply cannot afford to put some of Canadians’ most sensitive information at risk in the process. While Statistics Canada has said that it will deidentify our personal information, in many instances that information can still easily be linked back to our personal profiles, putting our personal information at risk.

Canada’s Privacy Act, which oversees how the government manages our personally-identifiable information, is woefully out of date, as are Statistics Canada’s collection powers. They were created before the Internet, metadata, and digital security were issues to be considered.

I’m asking you, as my elected representative, to introduce and support legislation to bring the Privacy Act into the digital age, adopting the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy, and Ethics (ETHI), and to ensure Statistics Canada does not collect sensitive information without consent.

Please hold the government accountable for my privacy and digital security.

[your name will go here]
[your email address will go here]
[your location will go here]

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