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2014 07 16
Long-form census too invasive, but social insurance numbers just right

As revelations surface that Statistics Canada has yet again lost sensitive private data, the agency is planning to ask Canadians taking the census to supply their social insurance numbers.

 “The government abolished the long-form census, our leading source of data on Canadians, saying it was too invasive,” said NDP Industry critic Peggy Nash (Parkdale-High Park). “With the long-form census gone, the agency wants to collect SINs to make its data reliable. Does the government really think this is less invasive?”

 This change to the upcoming census occurs as Statistics Canada comes to terms with yet another loss of private data. This time, the private information of Statistics Canada employees was emailed to other employees.

 “We’ve pushed the Conservatives for years now to update Canada’s inadequate privacy laws and have been stonewalled,” said NDP Digital Issues critic Charmaine Borg (Terrebonne-Blainville). “This plan to collect social insurance numbers shows once again that the Conservatives just don’t get it when it comes to protecting Canadians’ right to privacy.”

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Thomas Mulcair