Statistics Canada, the institution in charge of producing statistics for the government, has announced that they will have access to detailed financial data from Canadian citizens, even without their permission and knowledge. This resolution is part of a new policy of the Canadian government that seeks to gather real data about how Canadians spend their money and where.
Statistics Canada Background
Statistics Canada is the institution in charge of producing real statistics about life in Canada, with the objective of using them in planning better and updated policies and spending of the public budget. It also has the attribution of requesting info and make surveys.
But lately Statistics Canada has been facing a serious problem; the main source of their information has been getting drier day by day; people are not keen on answering surveys and polls about their private lives and their spending. Because of this, now they have turned to other less subtle methods for this.
According to information posted on the Canadian news site GlobalNews, now Statistics Canada will request the financial information of a selected group of Canadians from their banks without having their authorization.
Statistics Canada New Solution
This is the solution that Statistics Canada has found to keep gathering information for the formulation of national plans. They have supported their actions in the Statistics Act Section 13 that “authorizes the Chief Statistician to compel the disclosure of, and obtain, any documents or records that are maintained in any department or in any municipal office, corporation, business or organization, from which information is sought in respect of the objects of the Statistics Act.”
As perplexing as it is, they will have access to all the data of the individual, down to the specific items that the selected persons bought and where. But Statistics Canada also clarified that not all citizens will be subjected to this scrutiny; just 500,000 Canadians will be selected randomly to form part of this program, with a possibility of 1 in 20 of being selected.
While the institution says that the information will be used just for statistical purposes, there are real worries about the handling of this data and the possibilities of it being incorrectly secured and falling in the hands of interested third parties. This has already happened before, with the same institution losing information during the last Census.
While there are certainly doubts and questions about it, it seems that the new policy will be adopted in the near future.