Trudeau Defends Statistics Canada Move to Invade Your Privacy and Collect Banking info of 500,000 Canadians
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is defending a decision by Statistics Canada to compel banks and financial institutions to release the personal transaction data of 500,000 people without their consent.
Conservative House Leader Candice Bergen grilled Trudeau during question period Monday following a report by Global News that revealed Statistics Canada is asking the country’s nine largest banks for the transaction data of 500,000 randomly chosen Canadians, including everything from bill payments to cash withdrawals from ATMs to credit card payments and even account balances.
StatCan has said it has the legal authority to do so — even without informing Canadians or getting their consent — in order to build a personal information data bank to analyze things like consumer trends and spending habits.
“With a long history of government privacy breaches, Canadians are rightly worried,” Bergen said. “Why are the Liberals collecting the personal data of Canadians without telling them?”
Trudeau said his government would ensure that all personal information would be protected and the anonymized data will be used for statistical purposes only.
“High quality and timely data are critical to ensuring that government programs remain relevant and effective for Canadians,” the prime minister said.
Bergen called on Trudeau to “immediately assure Canadians that this intrusion into their lives will be stopped.”
“It was the Conservative government who chose to stop the long-form census,” Trudeau shot back. “What that led to was more policy based on ideology and less policy based on evidence like we are doing now. Their attacks on data and information continue.”