Nov 08, 2018

By Michael Kramer

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Canada’s chief statistician Anil Arora says his agency’s controversial plan to harvest individuals’ banking information is on hold – until the privacy commissioner completes an investigation – into widespread concerns about the project.

Stats-Can recently caught nine financial institutions off-guard by asking them to share the private banking information of Canadians – in 500,000 residences across the country.

By law, the institutions could be required to hand over the private information – as Stats-Can continues to modernize and improve its data-collection efforts.

Privacy concerns have triggered heated political exchanges in the House of Commons – where allegations of state surveillance and authoritarian rule have been part of the debate.

The uproar has prompted privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien to launch an investigation into the matter.

In testimony before a Senate committee, chief statistician Arora said the project will not proceed until Therrien has finished his work – and Canadians’ privacy concerns have been addressed.

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