Thursday , June 1 2023

Canadians strongly oppose Statskan's plan to get a bank record of 500,000 households: a survey


Canadians are vigorously opposed to the Canada Statistics Plan to get personal banking data – and most would not agree to participate, according to the new Research Nanos Research.

The survey suggests that the federal government is on the wrong side of the public opinion in defending the plan, with 74% of respondents who oppose or somewhat oppose the Statskan access to these documents without permission. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet defended him several times this day at the House of Communists in response to criticism by opposition members.

Over the past few years, the Statistics Agency has warned that its traditional methods of research will become less reliable due to a decline in participation rates. As a result, it explores new ways of collecting data by working with private sector companies.

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The plan soon moved from theory into practice in the past few weeks when the agency sent letters to nine Canadian banks informing them that it would force them to hand over personal banking data to 500,000 Canadian households in January.

Nine banks – BMO, CIBC, Canadian Western Bank, HSBC, Laurentian Bank, National Bank, RBC, Scotiabank and Toronto-Dominion Bank – are caught suddenly. The Canadian Bankers' Association expressed concern over the plan and recently said it was considering legal options.

The letters were launched by an investigation by the Federal Privacy Protection Commissioner, and Statskan said he would not continue until the expiry of the investigation.

The agency wants banking data to improve the speed and accuracy of reporting in areas such as consumption trends and inflation. It is said that the individual names will be removed and that no identifiable information will be available to the public.

However, Nanos research has found that 57% of Canadians would not agree to have their own personal banking data shared with Statscan. Only 30 percent said they would agree, while 13 percent said they were not sure. Older Canadians were more likely to oppose the plan.

In response to a related question, 64 percent said that protecting the privacy of financial data was more important than helping Statskan better understand consumer behavior and trends.

Pollster Nick Nanos said that Canadians obviously want to have control over their private information.

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"A part of this problem is the lack of consent – that there is not even the possibility of giving consent, at least as it is currently being proposed," he said. "If they want to listen to Canadians, the government should calibrate its position. It's pretty clear that there is a significant percentage of Canadians who are uncomfortable sharing financial data along with their personal data by the Statistics Canada banks."

The main statistician Anil Arora stated that the project will not produce quality data, if it only collects banking data for individuals who agree to participate.

"We know that when you have a voluntary model based on consent, you make very significant quality compromises, "The Globe and Mail said in an interview this month.

Mr. Arora compared the question with the debate on whether the respect of the list of long-standing formations is mandatory or voluntary: "Because those who say" Yes "and fill out the form do not look anything like those who say:" No, I will not fill it. ""

The research of 1,000 Canadians was commissioned by Nanos Research and was held from 3 to 7 November. Research of this size is considered true within plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times from 20.

It was also concluded that Canadians ranked banks before statistics Canada: Sixty-nine percent said they would entrust or somewhat trust banks to protect their personal information, while 65% said the same about the agency.

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Canadians are even less likely to believe in credit card companies: Only 47% of respondents said they would trust or somehow believe that they would protect their personal information.

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